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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 9 of Abundant Genealogy

Week 9 – Cemeteries: Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see. Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful. What makes this place special? What does it mean to you and your family history?

There are 2 cemeteries that my grandmothers took me to as a child.  One held the ancestors on my father’s side, the other my mother’s side.  For my father, most of his direct family can be found at Oak Lawn in Washington, Daviess County, Indiana.  My mother’s family is at Truelove in Rutherford Township, Loogootee, Martin County, Indiana. While I do remember making a few visits with my Grandmother Combs to various plots, it is my visits with my Grandmother Arvin that I have the most memorable experiences.  I wrote about one of these in my Family TreeFirst Blog.
Besides Berthena Cannon Morris’s grave, I have to say I learned to be comfortable around headstones in that cemetery.  A trait that not many people have and one I have not succeeded in instilling in my oldest son.  I guess when a graveyard is your play area for many years, you don’t think much about it.  That may seem like an odd statement to make, but I have several friends who have the same memories.

For them it was holding family reunions at the family church and playing the church yard with their cousins.  My experience was with the 4-H.  My local club met in the basement of Truelove church, and after snack we would have a break to run off energy.  The older kids would play ball, the younger kids playing tag, with the adults yelling at us not to climb so roughly on the old stones. 
I can also remember attending more than a handful of burials there.  At Oak Lawn, there was only my grandmother’s burial that I can remember attending. It may sound strange, maybe even a bit odd, but those times were more like homecomings in my head.  Those that I had lost were now resting with those they had loved and lost too.  A circle was complete, every beginning must have an ending, and witnessing them was always profoundly moving to me.  I can remember each burial I attended, what the weather was like, what I wore, who was with me, and what I felt.  There are only so many days in my life that I can say that about.

Walking through these gardens of stone I feel a connection to my past, and enjoy looking ahead to my future.
*Image: faithmonsoon via photopin cc

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