Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day.....

This day means many different things to many different people. It was always a custom in my family to make the trip to the cemetery with gardening tools and flowers. My family plot is in a very old cemetery that used to be in the country. Now the space all around it has been built up with homes and apartment complexes. This small serene space, however, remains with only minor changes....the addition of another headstone here and there and the trees have grown to towering oaks. There used to be an old handpump for water but that was replaced with a faucet a few years back. I didn't like going there with my dad but I went. He and my grandma (his mother) would work on the grave of his dad and when we left it would be filled with flowers, black wet soil and even the headstone would have been washed off. Grandma planted a small tree by the headstone many years before and it was beginning to show some growth. It was a flowering tree but I can't remember what kind now. Grandma could grow anything. That tree is huge now.

When Grandma died, I still went with my dad to the grave site. My mother didn't go. I never remember her going. When I was older, I used to walk around the whole cemetery and look at the headstones. Some of them were so very old, back in the early 1800's.

My mother was the next one to take up residency there and I only went a very few times. It was hard for me and it still is. My other grandmother was next and then my father. My father passed away 19 years ago; it seems like only last year. I have not been back but maybe 5 or 6 times in all these years. It tears me apart. I did not go this year again....but I may....just not right now. I was very close to my parents and some may think its terrible that I don't go and decorate their graves. I can't go because its too emotional for me to see their names there. I'm not really in denial.....I just don't want to get upset.

They live in my memories and I don't believe a day goes by that I don't think of them or remember something they used to say. Its amazing how wise our parents become the older WE get, isn't it. But I just wanted to put a reference here to them, to both my grandmothers and my grandpa who loved me so much, on this day of remembrance. They were good people and I was lucky to have had them and words can't even express how much I miss them.


fiwa said...

A gravestone is just a memorial - and if the memories you carry in your mind work better as a memorial for you, then that is all that matters.

Love you - sweet lady.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I've enough tear to flood a town even before I got to the cemetery. For the safety of all public, I've been staying away from cemetery as much as I can.

I'm such a cry baby.

Gypsy said...

Aww Val, this post really touched me. Fiwa is absolutely right. The people we love who have been taken from us still reside in our hearts. We carry them with us wherever we go and treasure our memories whenever they come to us unbidden. Not visiting their grave site doesn't mean they are forgotten or you love them any less. You remember them in your own way and that's all that really matters.

SOUL: said...

hi charlotte---

i'm still laggin around-- late as usual.

i don't know how far away you are from this place-- but it sounds real nice. it's a shame that it's growing up around it though.

i can almost picture it. it sounds a lot like "my family plot". except mine really is out in the middle of nowhere--and i don't think there is any threat of more than a couple houses being built anywhere near it. it is literally built on a cow pasture. like yours.. very very old headstones too.

i'm rambling. sorry.

guess i just wanted to say-- i understand.

i'm about 5 or 6 hours away from "mine".. i rarely make it out there. if i go once a year-- it's a lot. usually once every two to four years... in the passed - almost 19.

anyhow--- hope you are ok today,
have a good tomorrow---