It is a difficult decision to write this article. Some things are better left behind. The tenderness with which Thomas writes about the loss of his wife is remarkable, and he must have wanted to communicate this to his descendants. Thomas Boyd Foster and Eleanor Susan Cowan had married on April 6 1837 in Bolivar, Jackson County, Alabama. She was pregnant with her 11th child in the early spring of 1854. Here are the events, exactly as Thomas wrote it in January 1893:
"In 1853 but little of importance remembered save work, work. I had to have timber cut and put upon the bank of the river. Money had to be raised for the Pogue land. And I could sell fuel to the steam boats ..... The year 1854 rolls on. The darkest period of my life. In the early part of the year I was at home but little. Had been out attending to the duties of my office. [County Surveyor] Returned home. Had several plats and certificates to make; was engaged in this work. My wife, not feeling well, laid down on a small bed by me. She called my name two or three times in quick succession. I turned toward her. She was going into a spasm. These spasms continued until sometime in the night. She was relieved. Expected to be confined soon after. [give birth] The time came. The spasms returned on the 27th of March 1854, her babe was born. The mother was a corpse. Tongue cannot tell; thoughts, inexperienced cannot imagine. Words, when spoken advisedly, fall from the lips meaningless. Time heals many sorrows. The grave alone can cover these. Nearly half a century has elapsed. The Savior said "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know herafter". The knowing time is at hand. This may be wrong. Father forgive. The next summer after the death of my wife I took my children to the mountain for health."
His normal writing style was not in the short sentences of this paragraph. He obviously remembered Eleanor with a very special love.