Saturday, June 03, 2017

Getting ready for Decoration Day

Today's been busy. Tomorrow is Decoration Day down where some of Jilda's people are buried. We bought flowers last week, and she put the arrangement together yesterday. The flowers were for her oldest brother. Billy, like many children in the 30s, died in infancy. Even so, Jilda's mother put flowers on his grave every year since 1933. It's a tradition that we've honored Jilda's mother died.  

Each year at country churches all around the south, people come the weeks before Decoration Day and clean the graves of their relatives. If you visited one of these cemeteries late in the evening or early morning during this time, you'd often see clumps of old friends and neighbors sitting on headstones talking and laughing.

Next weekend it Decoration Day where my people are buried. I'll spend Sunday morning under a funeral home tent collecting money to help maintain the cemetery throughout the year. With the rising cost of gas and labor, we rarely collect enough money to get the job done. But we do a few donations. It seems each year, the till grows smaller. The older folks are dying off. I'm not sure who will carry on when we're gone. 

This much I know – the younger folks will either step up, or they won't. If they choose the latter, they will lose a connection to their family history. It's a connection that I've always treasured. Time will tell the story one way or the other.



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11 comments:

  1. A very nice tradition.

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  2. Oh, my hometown cemetery is fading away in the same way. Time will tell.

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  3. Keeping up traditions and remembering those we've loved and lost is important.

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  4. The connection is so much more important than some realize. I hope the tradition will carry on and on and on.....

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  5. Today's younger folks will keep up the traditions if they're taught that they are important!!

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  6. Good and timely post. You are right, the youth will or they won't. We just passed a grave yard this morning, already covered with flowers. A sight to behold, and it is a NEW (relatively speaking) cemetery. But these mountain folk are a traditional breed, for sure.

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  7. I've not availed myself to travel(to Minneapolis) and participate in Decoration Day. Nevertheless, yours is a wonderful tradition. I hope articles like yours are shared and will impact others' actions.

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  8. It's an honourable tradition. I hope that some one will keep it up. In our area, a tombstone is so expensive. We still ned to choose one for our daughter for a permanent marker.

    Hugs, Julia

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  9. You are so right Rick, the tradition is one to be passed down, and all we can do is to teach the history of our families and pray the next generation does the same.

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  10. I have never heard of decoration day,sounds like a great tradition you are passing down

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