On Christmas Day, 1859, she gave birth to a second son, who was named Samuel Gridley
This latest and perhaps dearest child was for three short years to fill his parents' life with a joy which came and went with him. His little life was all beautiful, all bright.
We associate him specially with the years we spent at No. 13 Chestnut Street, Boston
, a spacious and cheerful house which we remember with real affection.
The other children were at school; little Sam was the dear companion of our mother's walks, the delight of our father's few leisure hours.
For him new songs were made, new games invented: both parents looked forward to fresh youth and vigor in his sweet companionship.
This was not to be. “In short measures, life may perfect be” : little Sam died of diphtheritic croup, May 17, 1863.
This heavy sorrow for a time crushed both these tender parents to the earth.
Our father became seriously ill from grief; our mother, younger and more resilient, found some relief in nursing him and caring for the other children; but this was not enough.
She could not banish from her mind the terrible memory of her little boy's suffering, the anguish of parting with him. While her soul lifted its eyes to the hills, her heart sought some way to keep his image constantly before her. Her sad thoughts must be recorded, and she took up, for the first time since 1843, the habit of keeping a journal.
The first journal is a slender Diary and Memorandum Book.
On May 13, the first note of alarm is sounded.
Sammy “did not seem quite right.”