Dwight Eisenhower never recovered from the death of his three-year-old son, Doud Dwight "Icky" Eisenhower, on January 2, 1921.
After marrying the love of his life, Mamie Doud, just five months after proposing to her on Valentine's Day 1916, the future U.S. president and his wife eagerly awaited the birth of their first child. On September 24, 1917, Mamie gave birth to Doud in Texas -- shortly after the entrance of the United States into World War I.
Moving frequently because of Eisenhower's military deployment during this time, the family relocated to Fort Meade in Maryland. There, Mamie hired a 16-year-old girl as a servant in the family home.
Shortly before Christmas in 1920, Icky contracted scarlet fever. He died roughly two weeks later -- apparently catching the disease from the servant girl. Because neither Dwight nor Mamie had checked the girl's background, neither one knew she was recovering from the disease at the time she was hired.
Reflecting on the loss of his child later, Eisenhower said, "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were."
Do you think a parent ever really recovers from the loss of a child, regardless of how much time passes? Please post your opinions in the comments section below.
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