Saturday, May 12, 2007

Life is a Treasure

It's decoration day tomorrow where Jilda's parents are buried. We waited until the sun dropped low in the western sky before going down there to decorate the graves. She bought red and pink silk roses and spent a great deal of time today doing stunning floral arrangements in baskets.
When we arrived at the McCormack Cemetery after six, there were hundreds of people there wandering around the tombstones. An old cemetery is almost like a time machine because as you stroll through the headstones of people you once knew - people that touched your life in some way, your mind is transported to another time and the memory is as real as the smell of sweet shrub in the spring.
My sister's husband James is buried there. They married in the 60's and I knew him most of my life. His car was always clean. I'm not sure how he did it, but in the forty or so years I knew him, I never saw him in a dirty car. He loved to camp and Jilda and I always had a standing invitation to join them. We did a few times, but I wish we had joined them more. He and my sister Mary Lois brought Jilda to Fort Campbell, Kentucky the day I graduated from boot camp in 1971. I have a picture of us all and my head was was practically shaved. He developed cancer several years ago and left a hole in our lives that can never be filled.
Jilda's older brother Herbert who passed away early last year is buried there as well. He was several years older than us and he was always kind to me, especially during the early years after I married his baby sister. He loved guitar music and he would listen to us play and sing for hours. He enjoyed the old country songs made popular by Hank Sr., Ernest Tubbs and Little Jimmy Dickens and he would always ask us, with a grin on his face, to play things like "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose". He was a good soul and I miss him.
The great old cemeteries have paths and benches so that people can sit in the silence and connect on some level with those who have passed on. It's hard not to feel a great sense of loss but this evening as the shadows grew longer I chose to remember the good times and the gifts we shared. And I thanked the Good Lord for the remarkable people who have help to make my life a treasure.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:51 PM

    That cemetery! I used to go there at decoration time with my Mama. (Mother's mother) She had an ancestor who said he would come back as a rose. Each year we found thorns - he didn't quite make it!


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