WNC History Timeline

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www.childers-shepherd.org, 28 Dec 2008
                       DYING TESTIMONY OF MRS. EDNA ROBERSON
                                          WIFE OF MR. WILLIAM ROBERSON
                                   DAUGHTER OF MR. & MRS TOM CHILDERS
                                                  
AGE 21 YEARS & 13 DAYS

My dear people:

I am going to die. I want everybody to meet me in Heaven. Come near my bed so you can hear what I
have to say.

I can see the Holy City and the closer I get the brighter it is. Oh! I would give everything if you all could
see that beautiful city and the bright angels there. Emma came after me last night but would not speak to
me. She just pranced around in the room with a white silk dress on and made me feel sad. Oh! Do you
see that bright angel there? Oh! I must go. Sweet angels are calling for me, but I am trusting God will spare
my life till Mamma comes, for I must see my darling mother once more on earth before I leave. Everybody
kneel and pray for me to live till she gets here. There is someone I can’t leave. Where is Bill? I want him to
promise to meet me in Heaven. Write a verse and hang it on the wall, and tell everybody to meet me in
Heaven for I love everyone. I never done anything wrong to anyone and I’m so glad. Tell Joe my brother
to meet me in Heaven. My dear sister came after me last night and I must go. Tell Ethel & Frances that I’
m too weak to talk but they must meet me in Heaven for I’m on my way to meet my darling sister. Oh
what a meeting that will be. I have two darling little babies. One is able to take care of its self but the other
is not.

There is no pain across my heart or around my breast now.

This event occurred in the year 1918 during the awful flu epidemic.

The Spanish Flu of 1918:

In the fall of 1918 the Great War in Europe was winding down and peace was on the horizon. The
Americans had joined in the fight, bringing the Allies closer to victory against the Germans. Deep
within the trenches these men lived through some of the most brutal conditions of life, which it
seemed could not be any worse. Then, in pockets across the globe, something erupted that seemed
as benign as the common cold. The influenza of that season, however, was far more than a cold. In
the two years that this scourge ravaged the earth, a fifth of the world's population was infected (20 –
30 million people) many dying within 24 hours of infection. The flu was most deadly for people ages
20 to 40. This pattern of morbidity was unusual for influenza, which is usually a killer of the elderly
and young children. It infected 28% of all Americans. An estimated 675,000 Americans died of
influenza during the pandemic, ten times as many as in the World War. Of the U.S. soldiers who died
in Europe, half of them fell to the influenza virus and not to the enemy. An estimated 43,000
servicemen mobilized for WW I died of influenza. 1918 would go down as an unforgettable year of
suffering and death and yet of peace.

                                                                          - Stephen R. Childers