1 hour ago
Elek, Hungary February 1929
If you were to look into the newspaper archives for Europe in the winter of 1929, you would find that Feb 10th of that year was the coldest night that had been recorded in Hungary in sixty years. The ground had frozen so hard that gaping cracks appeared. Johann Bambach, being a miserly man, cursed angrily as his pocketknife fell from his frozen fingers and bounced into one of these cracks, never to be retrieved.
Inside Johann's little house, the midwife was preparing his 19-year-old daughter, Anna, for the arrival of her second child. Firewood had run out, and a meagre pile of sticks, snapped from the frozen trees in the orchards under the cover of darkness, was the last resort to keep the little hut warm enough for Anna and the baby she was labouring to bring into the world. As the heat from the stove met the icy cold of the mud walls and ceiling, droplets formed. A blanket was draped awkwardly above the bed to catch the drops before they could land on the straining young woman.
“Thank you, Mama," Anna murmured as Maria Bambach tucked warm bricks into the bed so her daughter wouldn't catch a chill between contractions.
"Not long now, sweetheart. Stay strong," her mother replied to Anna with a kiss on her forehead. The night wore on and as the cold outside reached its 60-year low, the pains came closer together, each worse than the last. As this child would prove time and time again, he was not going to let the weather, or anything else, get in his way.
As the first weak rays of winter sun lit up the frosty window, the midwife laid Anna's new son in her arms... The families of the young parents met at the church a few days later, and looked on as the godparents placed the infant beside the tub of holy water. Solemnly, the priest performed the sacramental rite, giving grace to the soul of the baby boy, whose name was Adam.
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