Monday, May 26, 2014

Reflections in Memorium

Anticipation.  Perhaps my three cousins did not regard seeing me with as much excitement as I held for spending a few hours with them.  Or maybe it was the tradition surrounded by this time of year.  Honoring those that passed before us while commemorating Memorial day strengthens the realization that we all belong to the same familial thread.  My uncle would step on the spade loosening the soil making room for red geraniums, silver fox and lobelia while we brushed the lichen from each head stone.  The galvanized watering can filled took two to carry as we shifted weight between us sloshing water; requiring a second trip to the spiquit hidden in a hedge.  Uncle George did the bulk of the work, while we all looked on; stepping back to admire the quick work of adorning the primary headstone.  Each side of the family laid to rest in different cemataries. Divided by religious beliefs.  St. Joseph's in Biddeford where my Catholic maternal grandmother and my two baby sisters are buried was always our first stop, while Laurel Hill in Saco was chosen as the resting place for my maternal grandfather and his family.  Protestant.  Even as a young kid, the injustice of this separation was evident.  Being raised as a Catholic, I still wanted to be buried among my family at Laurel Hill.  Large treks of tulips, manicured hedges and large greek style rotundas with slate floors still dot the landscape.  On Memorial Day all those years ago, we would stand beside our car on Beech Street and watch the parade pass.  Yet nothing compared to walking through Laurel Hill and visiting grave after grave of descendants. My mother sharing stories and memories that I have forgotten.  The years are not kind to memories or family stories.  The importance of what these ancestors ate for breakfast, what kinds of books they read or  exactly how they conducted their lives is lost.  I just know that their blood courses through my veins.  I belong.  Isn't that all that matters?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Knowing we belonged to great family is our backbone. What we pass-on to the younger generation, only they will be able to figure out at a later date.