APR 17 2020

[Warning: This is a happy-ending-less post. Reader discretion advised.]?
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Henry’s mental health continued to plummet. Fits of rage. Irrational fears. Alcoholism. Despondency. Frequent migraines. Malnourishment.?
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Society gossip said Lincoln’s death had turned Henry into a madman. After all, they reasoned, Lincoln’s own widow had gone crazy. ?
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Early morning. 1883. 2 days till Christmas. Henry. Pale. Pallid. Pasty. Slender. Slim. Slight. Grim. Gruesome. Grisly.?
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Henry emerged from his solitary shadows. He entered his wife’s bedroom. He told her he wanted to be with the children. Confused, Clara reminded him how extremely early it was. An argument. A scuffle. Henry made his way toward the children’s bedrooms. Clara raced ahead of him. ?
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Henry produced a revolver. He shot Clara. The house staff, awakened by the noise, rushed to subdue him. Henry marched toward the children. When the groundskeeper challenged him, Henry produced a knife. But instead of attacking the servant, Henry stabbed himself 5 times.?
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Just like Lincoln’s shooting, Clara succumbed to her gunshot wound. Just like his earlier stabbing, Henry survived.?
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Arrested. Murder charge. Declared incompetent. Henry was committed to an asylum. Clara was laid to rest in a cemetery nearby.?
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27 years. 1911. 74 years old. Henry died. He was buried next to his wife. ?
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In 1954, cemetery management reviewed the visitation records. No one had come to see the graves in many years. Since they were no longer of interest to anyone, Clara and Henry’s remains were disinterred and discarded.?
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But what of the dress? It was 1910, just a year before Henry’s death. His son, Henry Rathbone Jr., was now a respected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He visited the family summer home in Albany. Reflecting on the tortured lives of his parents, Henry Jr. busted down the brick wall barring entrance to the closet tomb. Inside, he found his mother’s cursed white satin dress, stained with his father’s blood. He lit a liberating flame.?
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And the dress burned into history.?
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Today’s cufflink is: WRITE A HAPPIER ENDING TO THIS STORY.?
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(Cuz seriously guys, it’s pretty sad.)