I could not stop thinking about this little girl.  I came across her grave when I was working on my family history.  The name was so unusual—“Shady Azalea” and she died so young (7 years old if I remember correctly).  Who was she and how did she die?  The names in my family tree had become so predictable.  Generation after generation the same names kept repeating.  Even when there was no way the family on the one census could have possibly known the family on an earlier census.  Then there was Shady Azalea.  We had the same last name.  Her grave is in the same area of the cemetery as my great, great and great grandparents.  I finally found her obituary in the archives of the local paper.  I had to search through actual newspapers—this newspaper had not transferred the old papers to microfilm.  I found out who her parents were and how she died.  She fell off a porch and died from her injuries a few days later.  How tragic.  A life cut short.  I believe one day I will see Shady Azalea (in heaven) and I plan to find her and ask her how she got her name!  I also want to know if she was called “Shady” or “Shady Azalea” and what she thought of her name.

church steeple

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