"A person's a person, no matter how small."
-- Dr. Seuss
Heber Jedediah Brown was born in Colonia Dublán, Chihuahua, Mexico on February 6, 1936. He was the fourth son and sixth child of Orson Pratt Brown and Angela Gabaldon Brown, who were married in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. At the time of Heber's birth Orson was 73 and Angela was 36. His brothers and sisters included: Gustavo born December 17, 1919 was16. Bertha born July 31, 1922 was 13. Pauly born January 29, 1924 12, Aaron born July 29, 1925 was 10, Mary born June 15, 1927 was 8.
Heber was a child that everyone was greatly looking forward to welcoming into the family.
His father, Orson, had planned on naming this son after the Mormon Prophet and President Heber Jedediah "Jeddy" Grant. In April 1930 Orson had attended the Church Centennial celebration in Salt Lake City, Utah. Anthony Ivins, Orson's former Stake President in the Colonies, was now in the Church hierarchy in Salt Lake City. Ivins called Orson to his office and told him he had been instructed by President Heber J. Grant to confer upon Orson all his former blessings. He laid his hands upon Orson's head and gave Orson all of his blessings and resealed his four wives to him, and also their 25 children plus the two Webb children from Elizabeth "Bessie" MacDonald's first marriage. Orson was so gratified and happy with President Grant's forgiveness that he wanted to name his son after him.
When he was born everyone was thrilled but the difficulty at his birth made it a very painful experience for the whole family. The baby was not breathing when he was born. Orson tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Water was not pumped quickly enough from the well to immerse the baby to induce a startle effect and get his lungs working. Heber died in his father's arms. Orson held him for hours and cried so hard for a long time that it was evident that his heart was broken. Both Angela and Orson were deeply affected by this loss. "When your parent dies you've lost your past, but when your child dies you've lost your future." Bertha, Aron, and Mary have all written about this child and how deeply his death affected their family.
Heber Jedediah Brown grave on right, next to his father, Orson Pratt Brown on left.
Family members: Pauly Brown, Lilly Sue Brown Bond, Aron Brown, Pauly Brown, Richard Brown, Megan Brown Vel, Mary Brown Green, Marcel Bowman, Marina Brown Bowman, Lily Gonzalez Brown. Circa 1990 at Colonia Dublan, Chihushua, Mexico..
Angela and Orson must have felt very lonely in their grief. No one else knew their baby except they, the parents. Others would soon forget. They continued to remember their child's impact on their lives. A few years later still distraught from the death of her baby, Angela was visiting her brother Rafael and his wife, Guadalupe in Jiménez. The family had six young children and the family was overwhelmed with raising them. When Angela entered the house she heard the sound of a toddler crying in a basket or hammock hanging from the rafters of the house. Angela was so taken by this cry that she knew she must have this child to raise as her own. With great empathy and love the child, Martha, was given to Angela and adopted by her and her welcoming family. Martha became Orson's steady companion leading him by the hand when he grew older and had less sight.
"Hold close these moments for we shall always live by remembering."
I carried you in hope,
the long nine months of my term,
remembered that close hour when we made you,
often felt you kick and move
as slowly you grew within me,
wondered what you would look like
when your wet head emerged,
girl or boy, and at what glad moment
I should hear your birth cry,
and I welcoming you
with all you needed of warmth and food;
we had a home waiting for you.
After all my strong labourings,
sweat cold on my limbs,
my small cries merging with the winter air,
you came. You did not cry.
You did not breathe.
We had not expected this;
it seems your birth had no meaning,
or had you rejected us?
They will say that you did not live,
register you as a stillborn.
But you lived for me all that time
in the dark chamber of my womb,
and when I think of you now,
perfect in your little death,
I know that for me you are born still;
I shall carry you with me forever,
my child, you were always mine,
you are mine now.
Death and life are the same mysteries.
PAF - Archer Files = Orson Pratt Brown + Angela Gabaldon > Heber Jedediah Brown
Thank you to the cousin who provided the photo of the gravesite, I think it was Elena Brown, but I am not certain. Let me know if you are the person who sent it: OrsonPrattBrown@gmail.com
Copyright 2001 www.orsonprattbrown.com