Memorial Day is drawing closer. A day the nation remembers our dead soldiers. The parades are smaller, the ceremonies shorter and the remaining veterans fewer than when I was a child. Perhaps people are more focused on the surviving soldiers instead. I hope so.
I guess I’m old-fashioned. My family always decorated the grave-sites of deceased relatives. It was a way to show respect and a chance to share memories. To this day I can find my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few cousins in the enormous New York cemetery we visited. Now I put flowers on my parent’s grave in Connecticut.
Perennials since I spend more than half the year in Florida. Lilies, plantains and bulbs like daffodils or tulips do well and assure me they are not being neglected. I need to go back and replant my sister’s flowers since they didn’t grow well this year. Sort of sad, but my sister and I shared a love of gardening.
The new flags decorated the deceased soldiers are a bright note against the green grass.
Cemeteries can evoke fear, grief, loneliness or interest. I added the last because like many who explore old graveyards, I think they are fascinating. The practice of gravestone rubbing has fallen off and that’s a good thing. It involved spreading tissue over the carved surface and rubbing it with charcoal. You could read weather-worn carving using this method, but it proved to be destructive.
Another reason to visit cemeteries is the http://www.findagrave.com site on the internet. You can go there and ask about an ancestor if you’re interested. If you know the cemetery, it’s likely a local person will take a picture and post it for you. Or you can find one for someone else. In a society where people move far from their birth home this can be a way to make contact.
Thanks for your interest in what I’ve been doing. Visit www.barbaraedwards.net for excerpts, buy links and free reads