Sunday, September 17, 2017

Grave tender...

When I was much younger my Granny Mid (Dad's mother) used to take me with her to tend the graves of long gone relatives.  There were several different graveyards to make the rounds in.  It was always interesting to me to hear Granny Mid's stories about people that I never would have known of without her telling me stories about them.

Granny Mid and grandpa, and a baby brother, rest in the shadow of the smallest mountain range in the West. My grandparents have flat headstones, and little brother just had a round disk with a number.  I didn't know til maybe 30 years ago that there was a brother between my younger brother and I.  No one ever talked of him.  He was stillborn. It hurt my heart that he only had a little disk with a number to show that he ever existed. I got him a concrete angel to do over watch for me.
When I lived closer to their graves I would often stop by to make sure the flowers were changed, and the angel that I got for Granny Mid was looking out for her as well. But mostly I would stop for a few minutes to say a pray for baby brother, and talk to Granny while I cleaned around the stones.  I try to bring a happy heart to that place, but sometimes it's tears, and that's ok. Granny would understand. 
Now that I don't live so close to Granny Mid's grave, I have taken to caring for my mother-in-law's grave here. Often during the years since she passed away I've gone by her grave, to check up on it or maybe just check in with her. I miss her, she was my mentor of life and loving. 
She and my FIL have flat headstones. Not quite sure why those bother me, I don't want a headstone, and my ashes will go rest high on that mountain next to the Cowman.  
When I moved up here I started out taking seasonal flowers to my MIL's grave. There is always one yellow rose in the bouquet as that was her favorite flower.  I got her a Madonna, the flowers stay til I change them out with the seasons, but the concrete Madonna disappeared.  I don't know if it was a grave robbing tweaker or the gardeners busted it while mowing. After a while I found a big concrete Angel to place there.  I glued that one down and it stayed for a few years. Last fall it too disappeared. Pretty sure it was the dang grave robbing tweakers, again. When I move away I won't be around to tend her grave, so I got her another Angel to do over watch duty. 





 This one I'm going to epoxy to the top of a concrete post and epoxy that to the surround. I'd really like to hot wire it, but with my luck a family member would be the one that got bit. 
Soon as I find the concrete post and get the Angel up the easier it may be to move on. 
MySean visits his dad, the Cowman, as often as he can, and is having a plague made to mark the area where his ashes are. So there is another grave tender in the family to carry on...

18 comments:

  1. It's important work to do.

    Well done, Brig.

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  2. My family is buried at a cemetery. They don't allow items to be placed on the plot. Lawn mowers would run them over if they were left there. To depressing for me to go there. I don't want to be buried in a cemetery either. A lot of people do though. I guess whatever makes the person happy. The angels are really nice. I'm sure that is why someone is taking them.

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    1. CiNdEe,
      Mother is buried at a little cemetery in Idaho, and had a large monument stone made for her grave site. None of us know why, other than she liked it. I find it odd that one would buy a large monument for oneself.
      The angels are disappearing faster from St Mary's than any where else I have placed them. It's frustrating, to say the least.

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  3. Grave robbers are the worst. :(
    It is wonderful of you to do that, and was wonderful of your Granny Mid to tell you all about your family that way. My family has always been... Well, the word escapes me, but not like that.

    Too bad you can't cement the angel in place. That is what kept thieves from stealing the old sugar cane bowl, back when the property was unoccupied, before the BIL finally sold it to us.
    The family had always used it to water the dairy cattle (hence its current name of 'cow bowl'). When we bought the property in 2008 and came down here to look at it, the fence had been cut in one place. Neighbor (old family friend) told us he got the greatest laugh out of watching three guys back a truck in and try to steal the bowl. Now sugar cane bowls are not light to begin with. But a part of the story that hubby did not know is that his daddy had bolted the cow bowl to a big concrete pad. You can't see the concrete now, but it probably tripled the weight of the bowl.

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. LindaG,
      They are tweakers and don't care what they take, plus they know that the law will do nothing to them here in Calif.
      Love your story of the sugar cane (cow) bowl. I may have to resort to doing something like that to keep the Angel from being taken.

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  4. It's truly sad that anyone would stoop to that level, but they do... sigh

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    1. Old NFO,
      There are no repercussions if they are caught here. None, and they know it. Most times the LEOs won't even come to check it out if you have been robbed. Calif is so screwed up.

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  5. I finally stopped the plumeria thieves by putting 3/8" rebar with a 90 degree bend into the bottom of the pots, and then putting in the dirt and flowers. Anyone trying to lift one of those would have gotten a well-deserved hernia.

    I grew up tending graves with family members, too, and it bothers me that I'm too far from Iowa to do that any more. I've often thought that a cemetery-loving entrepreneur ought to be able to develop a thriving business tending graves for out-of-town relatives. It's a job that I would like.

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    Replies
    1. shoreacres,
      I'm thinking a heavy cement post might just slow them down a bit.

      The cemetery-loving entrepreneur handling grave tending for those unable to do so sounds interesting.

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  6. Beautiful sentiments. Our family has never been grave tenders or visitors.

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    Replies
    1. Granny Annie,
      Thanks. It doesn't appeal to some, and that's fine.

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  7. People do things thinking they aren't being watched like stealing from graves but a day will come and all will see...

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  8. Our first Grandchild lived only two weeks, and her ashes are here under her tree. I get to tend her garden around her Aspen daily. Family .........

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    Replies
    1. Woodsterman,
      She was blessed with a grandpa to watch over her.

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  9. Replies
    1. SCOTTtheBADGER,
      Thanks, I liked that she had an unusual pose.

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