Sunday, February 26, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 9

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?

All of my mother's family is buried in Crawford County, Arkansas - I cannot single out a cemetery because there are at least five with several graves of my family members.

My best remembered cemetery experience took place on a hot July day when my husband and I took my then 84-year-old mother back to Crawford County with plans to visit those five cemeteries.  Although Mom had at sometime during her life visited those graves, if she had not actually attended the funerals, she was no longer sure she could find the cemeteries, or the graves once we found the cemetery.

Our first stop of the day was the funeral home which had been in charge of nearly every burial in that county for many years - they have their records back to 1917.  We received maps and driving directions to all the cemeteries in question - even to the one in the back of personal property where we would have to wade a creek to reach.

We located cemeteries, located graves, stopped and had lunch at a country store.  The day had grown warmer.  We arrived at a cemetery where Mom recognized almost every surname as family or friend and she was almost running from grave to grave calling out the names.  I realized she looked very, very warm and suggested she go rest in the shade awhile and let my husband and me locate the graves we were specifically looking for, and then we'd call her to come see them.  She'd go stand under a tree for about sixty seconds, and dart off again to read the name on another stone.  

Finally, I took Mom by the arm and said, "You are getting too hot.  What am I going to tell my sisters if you drop dead out here?"

She looked me straight in the eye and replied, "Just lay me out and cover me over. I'll be among friends."