In a conversation with Dearing Lewis in 1996, when Jeremy was asked to reflect back on what she felt were the pivotal achievements or events from her undergraduate years at Tufts, she said, “Of course, it was Graham’s death, following so soon after Mildred Lincoln’s death. Those two events changed my life.” Mildred Lincoln was an influential literature teacher from Jeremy’s high school years and the
Graham’s death occurred in early summer, 1929. At that point in their lives Graham’s relationship to Jeremy had changed from brother to cousin to classmate to fiancé.
There was never a time that Jeremy hadn’t known Graham. He was born in late January, 1911, before her own birth on April 2nd in the spring of that year. Their parents had been friends before marriage, and continued to be throughout their lives. They lived close enough so that Graham and Jeremy attended the same Sunday school and public schools. Equally precocious, they both received “double promotions” during the primary grades, after which Jeremy wrote the class poem, “Success,” for their grammar school commencement.
The two remained intellectually competitive in their ambitions until their graduation from
On the day that Graham died—June 26—Jeremy reminisced many decades later that they had planned to meet late that afternoon at what they always referred to as “their island.” It was also known as Bass Rock, in
Jeremy returned to Tufts in the fall, and continued her studies that year under a cloud of mournful grief. Late one night in the spring she walked to the reservoir with the intention of throwing herself in, but a friend persuaded her to return to the dorms, where an all night session of talk with friends helped to turn her thoughts away from death, towards the mystery of the unknown, the future, and the vast world yet to be explored. This awakened in her memories of her youth and of a beloved geography book, along with the realization, at age nine, as she stepped from her porch on