- Jimmy and Donald Paul -
The spring Ellen turned fifteen, Thelma shocked everyone with a whirlwind courtship and marriage to Dusty Rhodes, who took her to live in another state. Aunt Mona cried over Thelma's sudden marriage, but Uncle Jim said if Thelma was happy, so was he. As far as Ellen's mother was concerned, she believed Thelma should have waited for a proper church wedding.
Although Ellen was pleased for Thelma to have found someone to love, she had looked forward to being her maid-of-honor. Thelma's running away to get married had messed up Ellen's plans and she wasn't sure she was willing to forgive that. Then of course, there was Jim Baker, who Ellen was sure loved Thelma. When she told him Thelma had eloped, he had laughed and said he wished her well, but Ellen believed he was just saving his pride.
The shock and disruption of Thelma's elopement soon quieted and everyone settled into their old routines - that is, everyone except Ellen. With Thelma and Kelly gone her routine was beginning to become boring. With a long, friendless summer stretching out before her, Ellen decided to go to work. She found a job as a waitress and was glad to see the lonely days quickly turn into weeks. She worked hard all summer with most of her earnings going into household expenses for Nora and Henry.
That September, when the new school year began, Ellen told her mother she wanted to continue working. Nora surrendered to Ellen's pleadings to quit school, but Jimmy hounded her to start back. But once he saw how firm she was about her decision he stopped arguing with her.
The following October, Tony and his parents started attending church. They asked Jimmy to go with them and he was happy to be going. Soon, Jimmy began pestering Ellen to go with them.
"Jimmy," Ellen defended herself, "I work six days a week. Sunday is the only day I have off and I need that time to get my uniforms washed and catch up on my rest."
"Okay, Sister," Jimmy smiled. "I'll help you wash your uniforms."
"Are you kidding!" Ellen scoffed. "You wouldn't know the first thing about washing uniforms. Besides everyone one in that old church is a hypocrite."
"Not everyone, Sister," Jimmy spoke softly. "I go there and so does Tony. Besides, hypocrites didn't go to the cross for us; Jesus did."
"Well, you know what I mean. I'm sorry, Jimmy, but I'm just too busy."
"But, Sister, you need to learn about God and how to become a Christian."
"Jimmy," Ellen frowned as she drew a deep breath to help her control her peevishness. "Kelly's mom is a Christian and I just can't see that it's done her a whole lot of good."
"All right," Jimmy hung his head. He looked dejected and that caused Ellen to feel guilty.
"Listen, Jimmy, I donít need someone coming in here preaching at me. You go to church and Iím glad it makes you happy, but I don't want it, so leave me alone!"
Jimmy talked Gennieve and Carrie into going a few times, but they soon lost interest. Nora wouldn't go because of Henry, but she often let Jimmy read the Bible to her. Jimmy and Nora had long discussions about God and Ellen hated the feeling of being suddenly left out of a part of Jimmy's life.
"Jimmy," Nora asked, "how could it be so simple to be a Christian? I can't believe God could forgive just any crime. Don't you think a person can get too mean to be forgiven? I mean the Bible says that there is an unforgivable sin."
"I once worried about that very thing. Then I read a passage of Scripture where God says He's not willing for anyone to be lost. I believe if you've ever committed the unforgivable sin you wouldn't be worrying about it because you wouldn't care."
"I don't know, Jimmy. Perhaps you're right. It's just too confusing for me. Maybe someday I'll start to church and get right with God. But for now I have enough to worry about just keeping a job and paying bills."
Jimmy tried to explain to his mother that getting right wasn't the issue, but she couldn't seem to understand. Ellen, on the other hand, didn't want to understand and she refused to stay during their Bible reading sessions. She became very angry with Jimmy for getting so religious, but she comforted herself by thinking it wouldn't last long. She was sure Jimmy would cool down and once again become the brother she remembered.
One day, just after Christmas, an older man came into the cafe and started flirting with Ellen. He was slender, but short for a man and walked like a soldier about ready to salute. His soft-brown eyes were deep-set upon rugged, good-looking, features. When He called Ellen over to his table, and asked her what her name was and where she lived, she refused to tell him.
He told her his name was James but Ellen acted like she couldn't care less.
In spite of Ellen being rude, when James started to leave he walked over to
Ellen and pressed her body against the wall. He trapped her by putting his hands
on each side of her shoulders against the wall behind her.
"Little girl," he said in a drunken voice and he felt as though he was going to become lost inside the lucid pools of her clear, bright eyes. "You don't know it yet, but you're going to marry me."
"Leave me alone!" Ellen snapped at him as she ducked out from under his arms, "I
wouldn't marry you if you were the last man on earth!"
Undaunted, when James paid his bill, he asked the cashier where Ellen lived. He wasn't sure how he felt about her, but he did know he was going to see her again.
The next evening James found himself standing at her front door. Feeling boyish,
and foolish, he grinned and started apologizing for his behavior.
"Ellen, I'm real sorry about yesterday. I hope you aren't mad at me."
"No," Ellen answered, surprised to see him. "I've learned not pay attention to
drunks. I mean..., well..., you know what I mean."
"You're right," James laughed. "I was soused, and you shouldn't pay attention to anyone who's drunk."
"Do you want to come in?" Ellen asked, stepping aside.
"Thanks. Uh, well, I...," he stammered, "I wanted to know if you would like to go to a movie with me?" He was nervous about being there, but he walked past her into the house.
"I don't know. I'll have to ask my mother."
Ellen was shocked. An older man had never asked her for a date. The only dates she had were just a group of kids going for a coke or to a movie.
"Henry, Mother, this is James," Ellen introduced him.
"Glad to meet you, James," Henry spoke up.
Nora nodded an acknowledgement, then motioned Ellen into the kitchen. "And, that's my two sisters, Gennieve and Carrie," Ellen pointed at the girls as she followed Nora. Carrie and Gennieve smiled a polite hello and continued their game of checkers.
"My brother, Jimmy, isn't here," Ellen added with a flip of her head as she left the room.
"Do you know how to play Forty-two?" Henry asked James as Nora closed the door behind Ellen.
"Who is he and what's he doing here?" Nora asked.
"I met him at the cafe yesterday. He wants to know if I can go to the movies with him," Ellen answered.
"No, Sister," Nora warned Ellen in a low voice. "I'm sure he's too old for you."
"Don't worry, Mother," Ellen reassured her. "I don't want to go with him anyway."
"Bring the dominoes in here!" Henry yelled at Nora.
Nora's lips formed a thin line as she retrieved the dominoes from her cabinet and followed Ellen into the living room. Ellen knew her mother's look was one of serious displeasure and she felt uneasy about upsetting her.
Ellen entered the living room where James was visiting with Henry, James looked
up expectantly at her, but she shook her head no.
Nora placed the dominoes on the table with a firm thud and Henry frowned at her. Nora, however, just pulled her lips into a tighter line and left the room. Ellen sat down at the table with Henry and James.
"Let's get a game of Forty-two going," Henry said as he opened the domino box.
"Hot diggedy dog!" James laughed as he rubbed his hands together and winked at Ellen.
Nearly every evening, for the next two months, James came by and played dominoes with Henry. He always seemed to have a lot of money and he showered Ellen with presents. His devil-may-care attitude and his money impressed Ellen. He gradually became a part of the family, and even Nora warmed up to him, in spite of his constant jesting about marrying Ellen.
The morning of the tragedy began like a normal day. The February cold was still threatening spring not to arrive and Ellen was beginning to believe it wouldn't.
"Ellen," Nora called out as she was leaving for work. "Itís time to get up and start getting ready for school."
"Okay, Mother," Ellen stretched and yawned. "Say, are you going to have to work late today?"
"I don't think so. Gotta' go now, see you tonight."
Ellen slowly sat up and put her feet on the floor. She hated getting up on cold mornings.
"All right, girls, you heard Mother as well as I did," she snapped as she opened the closet to get one of her school dresses.
Everyone slowly began to function and soon Ellen had oatmeal on the table. She had fixed bologna sandwiches to take for their noonday meal. However, one of the girls left hers on the kitchen counter.
That afternoon Ellen saw the sandwich and thought about throwing it out, but she left it where it lay. When Jimmy found the sandwich, he promptly ate it. No one thought anything about it until that night when Jimmy became sick.
When Jimmy awoke, he was nauseated and scared. He called out to Ellen and she went to his bedside. His usual soft features were tight and drawn, and his wistful, sky-blue eyes filled with pain as he tried to sit up.
"Sister, will you please help me get outside? I feel so sick and I need some fresh air."
"All right, Jimmy," Ellen whispered as she helped him stand up. He leaned his tall, slender body on her as they made their way to the door.
"My whole body's aching, Sister, and I can't see very well."
He felt terribly hot and it scared Ellen. She helped him down the stairs and out onto the lawn where he started vomiting.
"Sister, something bad is wrong with me. I feel like I'm going to die," Jimmy's soft voice was shaking.
Ellen helped him back upstairs and into bed. Frightened, she asked her mother to come see about Jimmy. Nora went to Jimmy's bedside and felt his forehead for fever. She called out to Henry for help and they took Jimmy to the hospital. When they returned Jimmy wasn't with them.
"We left Jimmy in the hospital, Sister; he's a very sick boy. We'll go see him in the morning."
Ellen spent the remainder of the night pondering the mystery of life and death. She thought about her daddy's tragic murder and wondered where his soul was.
Grandma had told her anyone could go to heaven if he were good. That sounded reasonable to Ellen except for one thing, how could anyone know the dividing line between bad and good?
She then questioned if there really was such a thing as heaven. And she wondered how a loving God could allow murder and molestation of innocents. She remembered Jimmy once saying that tragedy would soften, or harden a person's heart toward God. He said God wants to use bad things that happen to cause one to be compassionate. Ellen couldn't imagine how one's heart could become tender from being hurt. Her mind puzzled over Jimmy and the things he believed.
"Where is heaven? What happens to your memory and your deep feelings?" Ellen spoke softly to herself.
"Oh, Jimmy, you can't die! I won't let you die!" Ellen muffled her voice with her pillow.
"God, if youíre there you had better not let Jimmy die! You hear me God?"
Morning finally arrived, and wanting to hurry, everyone ate lightly. "Iíll sure be glad to see Jimmy this morning," Ellen thought as they were leaving for the hospital. Henry was upset about missing work because he believed Jimmy was going to be fine. Nevertheless, Henry had told Nora he would go with her to the hospital and he drove them there.
As they were walking down the hallway to Jimmy's room a doctor called out to them. Ellen saw the sadness in the doctor's eyes and felt the fear in her mother's voice when she asked about Jimmy.
The doctor broke the news to Nora as gently as he could about Jimmy dying from ptomaine poisoning. Nora told the doctor about the bologna Jimmy had eaten, and then she asked to see him.
Suddenly, the same icy fear that had taken control of Ellen's body when her daddy was killed crept into her mind. The horror and pain were so great she became violently ill. Ellen was helped into a bathroom where she vomited. Ellen then washed her face with cold water and when she was able she walked to the car with Gennieve and Carrie. Henry helped Nora to the car and they drove home in deep silence.
Ellen didn't go with her family to the mortuary because she was afraid of looking upon Jimmy's dead body. Guilt, fear, and pain were her companions during Jimmy's funeral. James had offered to drive Ellen to the services and she was glad for him to take her. She wanted to be alone as much as possible and she knew there was a crowd with Nora and Henry.
James sensed Ellen's need for solitude and remained quiet. He sat with her in church and drove her to the graveside ceremony. Only once did he break the silence.
"Ellen," he said gently, "a few years ago I lost my wife. I learned something about how to handle death. You need to mourn, but then, you have to go back to living. If you need me, I'll be around."
During the burial ceremony Jimmy's friend, Tony, came over to Ellen and put his hand on her shoulder. He stood still and silent and Ellen felt an intense sadness for this shy, young man whose only friend had been her brother. After the service Tony silently walked away with downcast head and slumped shoulders.
"He's as hurt as I am," Ellen whispered.
Then, as she turned to go, Jim Baker reached out for her hand.
"Ellen, I'm sure sorry," his voice was soft and gentle.
"Oh, Jim, we're all hurting. He was your friend also."
"Yeah, he was a good kid. I jest wish we could of had more time together..." Jim took a deep breath. "Seems like tha good guys die young. Well, I guess I better go."
Tears welled up in Jim's eyes as he gave Ellen's hand a soft squeeze. He quickly turned from her and stepped into his old pickup. Ellen fought back an urge to cry as she watched him drive away without looking back.
Facing the funeral, then trying to live normally again, was more than Ellen's conscience-stricken heart could bear. Weeks later, when Ellen felt she could trust her feelings, she decided to talk with her mother.
"Mother," Ellen was hesitant, "I forgot about the bologna sandwich. It was my fault for leaving it on the counter."
"No, Sister," Nora sounded weak, "Don't blame yourself. How could you have known the seriousness of eating spoiled meat? It's not your fault and no one blames you."
"MotherÖ" Ellen asked softly, "What happens to you when you die?"
Nora was silent for a moment, then answered slowly, "Sister, you don't have to worry about Jimmy. He was a good boy because he went to church. I know he's in heaven with God." She reached out and patted Ellenís hand. "Now, you stop worrying about him, you hear?"
"Yes, Mother," Ellen answered as she slowly stood up and walked away.
Ellen felt numb and went through the next few weeks in a daze. She couldnít cry, and she tried not to bury herself in pity. While working, she could keep from brooding over her doubts and fears. But, when she lay down to sleep, her troubled mind agonized over the night she ordered God to let Jimmy live.
"Perhaps," Ellen rationalized, "people are afraid that when they die that's the end of them forever, so they make up a god."
Often, when it was difficult for her to go to sleep Ellen would let her mind wander. Sometimes she would try to remember what Jimmy had said about suffering and death being the result of sin. She was sure there were solutions to her tortured questions but she hated to think about it for long. She just wanted the agonizing pain that seemed to control her heart to dull. Her struggles to reason out life and mortality always proved to be fruitless and she usually slept fitfully.
James still came over to play dominoes with Henry. He tried to help Ellen get over her sorrow. He showered her with attention and always drew her into his and Henry's conversations. Once, he bought Ellen a beautiful bride doll.
"You're sure going to make a lovely bride someday," James teased as he gave Ellen the doll. She gave him a cheerless smile and examined the pearl-colored doll dress.
"Now, look at that," James laughed at her. "I knew she had a smile for me."
Ellen was glad for the attention and she began to like James a great deal. She still felt uneasy around Henry and one evening while Nora was still at work, and her sisters were outside, Henry walked into her bedroom unannounced. An uneasy fear gripped Ellen's heart because she could tell Henry had been drinking as he made his way over to where she sat on the bed. She was trying to figure out what to do when Henry suddenly grabbed her and pulled her up close trying to kiss her. His hands seemed to be everywhere and Ellen shoved him away as hard as she could. She jerked away from him and ran outside and sat on the front porch where she stayed until her mother came home.
When Ellen saw Nora walking up the street toward home she decided not to tell her what had happened. She acted as if nothing was wrong because she didn't want to add any more pain to her mother's heart.
At supper that night Ellen avoided Henry's eyes, and she went to her room as soon as she finished eating. As she lay on her bed she tried to think of a way out of the smoldering hell-hole Henry had pushed her into. Overwrought and mentally exhausted she fell into an unstable sleep.
The next morning Ellen called James at work and asked him if he still wanted to marry her. James was shocked but he laughed and said yes. Somehow they managed to keep their wedding plans a secret from Nora.
Then, on a rainy day in April, just weeks after Ellen's sixteenth birthday she and James were married. As she was saying her vows she listened to the rain and hoped it wasn't a foreboding of their future together.
However, because Ellen was so young, she put aside her morbid fears of the future and began to catch the carefree mood James seemed to always be in. Like a magnet, people were drawn to James' optimism and he never seemed to lack friends. He was a bit jealous of Ellen, but she thought it a compliment, and usually kept him in a good humor by joking with him about it.
When Nora found out about their marriage she was hurt, and though she never understood the reason Ellen eloped, she readily forgave her.
Nora told Ellen, "If you ever need me I will always be here for you." And through all the years, until her death, Nora never failed to help Ellen.
Sadly, just after she married everyone stopped calling her, "Sister", and with the treasured nickname went her innocent youth. Never again, except in her heart, did Ellen capture the sweet simplicity of childhood
Ellen's husband, Melvin James Caywood, was born in 1902 at Rush Springs, Oklahoma (Indian Territory). James' daddy, Samuel Caywood (changed from Cawood when he left his boyhood home), died before James was old enough to know him. His mother, Lilly, had to put James and her other children in an orphanage, but she worked there as a cook.
Years later she married again, but James hated his step-dad. Mr. Smith was a cruel man and often took his anger out on the younger children. James ran away from home when he was fifteen and began working like a man.
James joined the Merchant Marines the latter part of World War One. By the time Ellen was born, in 1919, James was overseas helping clean up the chaos left in the wake of a long and tragic war.
James' first wife was a vivacious German girl named Marie. She was a good homemaker and an excellent bookkeeper. She took care of their money and made sure James didn't spend any foolishly.
They had two boys, who were as different in looks as they were in personality. Melvin Jr., the oldest, looked as much like James as Monroe looked like Marie. Melvin was full of mischief and never met a stranger. Monroe, on the other hand, was shy and quiet.
Just after Monroe was born Marie died from a sudden kidney disease. James seemed lost without her and asked his mother and new step-dad, Tony Bitsche, to take the boys to raise. When James and Ellen married, Melvin was eight, and Monroe was six. The boys continued to live with their grandmother although James and Ellen visited them often.
James quit drinking when he and Ellen married, but he had a passion for gambling. Ellen spent many nights alone, while James was out betting his paycheck, and her fussing about it did no good.
Their first few objects of furniture were bought with money won at playing dominoes. However, her first time to be without food was because of his losing his paycheck on a game.
James was as thrilled as Ellen to learn they were expecting their first baby. James said he wanted a girl because he already had two boys. It didnít matter to Ellen, but when Donald Paul was born, James was as proud as she was. All the love Ellen had for her daddy and brother became wrapped up into this chubby baby boy. Ellen was just a few months past her seventeenth birthday when Donald Paul was born.
Donald Paul was a happy baby with his cooing turning to laughter at an early age. He learned to walk at seven months and could even say a few short words. Nora and Henry came by every evening and took Donald Paul for a drive. He always stood in the car seat between his grandparents and said, "Go Papaw, go Mamma". When they came to a red light Donald Paul would say, "Stop Papaw, stop Mamma". Gennieve and Carrie always found an excuse to come over so they could play with Donald Paul.
Gennieve was fifteen years old and beautiful in a pure and natural way. Her hair and features were like Nora's. Her small nose turned up slightly on the end and her blue-green eyes revealed her every mood. She had a soft, musical quality in her voice that made her sound like a small girl. At his naptime Donald Paul loved for Gennieve to rock and sing him to sleep.
Carrie, on the other hand, was a spunky tomboy of twelve with delicate features and snapping, blue-gray eyes. Her mouth was full and pouting, making her look moody. Carrie was rough and tumble with Donald Paul and she would often get on the floor to play blocks with him. Ellen enjoyed the girls coming over and entertaining Donald Paul because it gave her time to do her housework.
One fateful day, Ellen became so preoccupied she failed to be aware of how quiet Donald Paul had become. When she did take notice, Donald Paul had curled up beside his toy blocks and fallen asleep.
He felt hot when Ellen picked him up and he seemed sluggish when she tried to give him an aspirin. He had a slight cold, but he had always been a healthy baby, so Ellen didn't worry. She put him to bed and went about her housework.
Later, when she heard Donald Paul gasping for breath she ran to his bedside and yelled at James for help. James grabbed Donald Paul up and ran for the car and when Ellen climbed in James handed the baby to her. By the time they reached the hospital Donald Paul had turned blue. When the nurse snatched him away from Ellen an acute premonition, that her baby was dying, pierced through her mind.
"James, he's dying," Ellen moaned. Her heart almost burst from grief as she watched the door close behind the nurse.
"Mother, he's dying! Please God don't let him die!" Ellen cried out in anguish as James pulled her close.
After what seemed hours of torture the doctor came out to talk with them. Somehow Ellen knew what he was going to say but a quick, deep blackness engulfed her. By the time Ellen came to her senses, Nora, Henry, Carrie and Gennieve were there. Everyone was crying and James kept saying he was sorry but the same numb feeling Ellen had experienced when Jimmy died clothed her mind.
The doctor gave Ellen medicine to put her to sleep and James helped her out to the car. James then asked Nora and Henry to take care of the funeral arrangements and he drove Ellen home. The sleeping medication started taking effect and as soon as she lay down on the bed she fell asleep.
When she awoke it was morning. Her body ached as she slid out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. She felt more than physically sick because the emotional pain seemed to have control of her whole body. She wanted to scream but she was afraid that if she lost control she could never gain it back. When she came out of the bathroom James offered her a cup of coffee. Ellen sat down at the table and tried to collect her thoughts.
"What did the doctor say?" Ellen asked quietly.
James took a deep breath and slowly, painfully told her that Donald Paul had died from double pneumonia.
"It was too late to save him even when we first heard him gasping for breath," James added, his voice breaking.
"I know it was James. Don't blame yourself. I should have paid closer attention to him during the day. I knew he was sickÖ" She paused and took a deep breath. "I just wasn't thinking." Ellen was weary and tired and it was an effort even to talk.
"Oh, Ellen," James cried as he reached out to comfort her.
"No one's to blame. You couldn't have known because he had never been sick before."
"Yes, I know," she answered.
"Your mother's coming by soon to get some of Donald Paul's clothes for the funeral. Do you want to help her pick out something?" James asked.
"I'll do it myself," Ellen murmured as she walked over to Donald Paul's small bureau and sat down. She pulled out a top drawer exposing the neatly laid clothing. Gently she unfolded then folded each article and placed them on the floor.
"I don't want to keep any of these things!" Ellen burst out in a rush of pain.
"You don't have to, Ellen," James answered softly.
Ellen picked out Donald Paul's blue suit and his tiny, black shoes. She told James that she wanted to put the clothes on Donald Paul herself. James hoped she would change her mind when Nora and Henry came but she didn't. On the way to the funeral home Nora tried to talk Ellen out of dressing the baby but Ellen was firm.
As they stepped inside a hack room of the mortuary the strong, sickening smell of formaldehyde hit Ellen like a slap in the face. She saw Donald Paul's tiny, covered form lying on a table near a small blue-lined casket.
James walked over to the mortician and started talking with him.
With much hesitation and dread, Ellen walked over to Donald Paul's side. She pulled the sheet off and picked his small body up. She held him close to her breast and thought about her daddy and Jimmy.
Nora started crying, and as Henry walked out the door he told James that Ellen was crazy with grief. James stood silent and helpless as Ellen rocked Donald Paul in her arms. He watched as she gently put him down and slowly dressed him.
"He looks so sweet all dressed up," Ellen thought as she laid his body in the coffin. She leaned over and kissed him.
"Good bye, sweet baby," she whispered and kissed him again. "Good bye, Jimmy." Then she kissed him one last time. "Good bye, Daddy".
Then Ellen turned away and walked outside with James and Nora following her. Nora got into the car beside Henry and shook her head in doubt of Ellen's sanity.
"Are you all right?" James asked Ellen as they stepped into the car where Henry and Nora were waiting.
"Yes, Iím going to be all right," Ellen answered quietly.
The service that afternoon was quickly over. As they stood at the graveside Ellen thought about how she had felt at Jimmy's funeral. She had been scared and guilt ridden, and terror of the unknown had enveloped her then and at her daddy's funeral. Now, however, she felt like she had run the gauntlet of fear and she was going to be brave.
After Donald Paul's burial Ellen asked James the same question she had recently asked Nora. It was the same question she had asked Jimmy those long years ago.
"What happens to you when you die?"
"I don't know," James answered with uncertainty. "I guess you go to heaven if you're good, or to hell, if you're bad."
"What about a baby?" Ellen pressed him.
"I believe God takes babies to heaven. Ail babies!" James added firmly.
"Yes, I think you're right," she quickly replied, forcing an anchored fear of the unknown farther into the back of her mind.
The first storm after Donald Paul's death caused Ellen to remember how frightened he had been of thunder and lightning. James was at work, so she grabbed her coat and walked to the cemetery. When she found his monument pent up feelings came crashing down on her. Sobbing violently she fell across his grave and cried for the injustice of it all. She cried for her daddy, her brother, and her son. She didnít know how much time had passed before James found her, but she was numb from the cold and spent emotions.
James lifted her up and carried her into the house. Ellen lay in his arms and cried herself to sleep. Much later, when she awoke, James fixed coffee and they sat down to talk.
"Honey, please donít cry anymore. Youíre breaking my heart," he pleaded when he saw tears well up in her eyes.
Ellen didnít cry again and she never returned to her babyís grave. She felt that returning to the pain was more than she could handle, so she kept telling her heart she would return another day. She wrote in Donald Paulís baby book that Jimmy had also died during the night, exactly two years earlier, and on the same date. She also noted that Jimmy was seventeen when he died. Ellen was seventeen when Donald Paul died.