Monday, December 14, 2009
Madness Monday - December 14, 2009
I get mad, and I do mean MAD at families who allow their cemeteries and their ancestor’s tombstones to become broken and unrepaired. I get furious over cemeteries left untended, and literally allowed to go back to the field. Forgotten by all. And eventually unfindable!
Such was the case of one of our family cemeteries this past summer. My dear cousins from out West [they are four sisters from Utah, New Mexico and Oklahoma], who came to our family reunion in August. On the way, they stopped to try to locate a little, long forgotten family cemetery. There were only four graves there.
Located in a field, next to the farm house, the little plot of earth had been ignored by family for at least the 60 years of the present owners family living there. The owner was raised there, and he had always wanted to do “something” with the little cemetery. He stated he always felt it needed tender loving care. But he had no idea who the family was these people belonged to. But he’d sure like to find them.
Instead, these four ladies found him.
It soon became my mission to restore and fence the little plot of ground. And I began a fund raiser to get enough money to begin work on the ground. We had hoped to be able to do something with it in the spring.
Unfortunately, we received a letter from the owner’s wife in November, stating that he had been killed in a tragic farm tractor accident there on the farm in September. However, in his honor, the wife had the little cemetery fenced. And someone has been hired to repair the broken stones in the spring, when the weather is more appropriate for masonry work.
Naturally, we have reimbursed the owners for the expense thusfar.
But, each year, as my Dad and I go over our many family graves, we clean them, straighten and repair stones as needed, and make sure that the graves, and those buried there, are remembered. I cannot imagine doing otherwise! And I get so angry when I see graves untended and uncared for, and even angrier when I notice they have not been visited by family in a very, very long time.
Each time I visit my grandparents grave, or my great-grandparents, or even my great-great-grandparents, I talk to them, just as if I were having a conversation. Kooky maybe, but I feel like they are there with me in spirit, and can hear my every word. And their memories deserve to be preserved.