Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: Found at the Cemetery

I know, it's not exactly a catchy or cute title for today's post. But hey, it's Halloween so maybe it is mildly appropriate. 

I went by another cemetery today. I took my dad a few weeks ago so that we could leave flowers at his parents' and grandparents' (my grandparents' and great grandparents') graves. This is not something that we do often - or really at all. But in my recent return home I have the overwhelming urge to learn about and from my past.

Here's a picture of my great grandparents:

Daisy & Horace
c. 1906

Horace rode across the mountain from Tennessee into North Carolina on a horse for like 20ish miles just to court Daisy. Can you imagine?

And here is their fourth child, my grandmother.

c. 1938

She was 28 in this picture and already had four children of her own. She drove her entire life without ever obtaining a license. At some point in the late 70s or early 80s she was pulled over and cited by a city policeman, but she still did not get her license. 

And here is a picture of her parents, Horace and Daisy, in their later years. Many many many exciting, strange, scary, miraculous, sad, joyous, and lovely things happened between that picture from 1906 and this picture in 1965. 

Horace & Daisy
c. 1965

I hope I can write about these things some day. Growing up I heard many hilarious stories about these family members. After all, when folks are gone we want to retell the joyous and the funny things right? Nothing wrong with that. There's a host of things about this side of my family that I want to cement into my memory and into the traditions I create with my family.

But there's more to a person's life than the happy. There's the sad. There's the generational behaviors or tendencies (and sometimes sin) that happened too. There's the stuff that if left unmentioned and ignored may be repeated for generations to come. I don't intend to go on some gossip finding mission or anything - not at all. But in listening to stories and events I have started to "hear" things differently and wonder.

And when I look at myself, my family, and my decisions I can't help noticing some striking similarities. Some make me laugh. Others make me cry.

Today when I removed the dead flowers I stared at my maiden name on my grandparents grave. How do I want my family's name to be remembered? What part of "us" do I want to live on and what part of of "us" must die in order that He might live? I guess I can't ask those questions in the plural. I can't decide what other family members will do with our heritage.

But I can make that choice myself. Hmm... wrong again. I'd rather He make those choices, whisper them to my heart, and then I obey.

More to come...

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