Mary Ingalls Kendall was with child; she was 8 months and some weeks along. She and her husband Adam anticipated the baby's arrival very soon and their excitement grew every day. The Kendalls had been parents to a sweet baby boy who had perished in a fire at the blind school that they had taught at, some five years before. Naturally, the couple had taken the loss of their son very hard. By all outward appearances, the Kendall's sorrow had ebbed one year after the fire. They were busy teaching at a new school, in a new town and had little time to sit and wallow. However, in quiet moments Mary would catch herself thinking of her son; the merry chortling sound he made when she tickled him; the feel of his lips against her skin when she nursed him; picking him up and laying him gently in his cradle after he had fallen asleep on his father's stomach. These memories of her baby boy would bring tears to her eyes, which she would then quickly brush away.

A year and a half after the fire, Adam had regained his sight through a freak accident. Teaching, which had once fulfilled him, soon became tedious. Following in his father's footsteps, he went to law school. Upon graduating, Adam and his wife moved to New York City, where he took a position in his deceased father's old law firm. His life was soon inundated with cases and social engagements. When Adam's colleagues would talk of their children; he would feel a twinge of grief. There wasn't a day that went by, where he didn't think of his son, longing for the day when the sound of a child's laughter would ring throughout their house again. To fill her empty days, Mary had a small retinue of blind children whom she tutored. Mary came to love her students, but she still yearned for a child of her own. The Kendall's prayers were answered in February, when Mary discovered that she was expecting. As Mary's due date approached, her mother, Caroline Ingalls, came to stay with the young couple

After the initial aftermath of the fire at the blind school, Mary and Adam never spoke to each other about their dead son. It was much too painful for the both of them. They never spoke of him, that is, until Adam made the mistake of bringing up the subject of baby names.


Next Chapter: Honor or Erasure?