Thursday, January 31, 2013

Edgewood Cemetery

In my little hometown of Crystal City, Texas is a cemetery called Edgewood Cemetery. Edgewood is a place of memories, a place of family, and even life lessons and culture.

Most of my family, my mom and dad included, and other family are buried there.

When I go to Crystal, I always see to it that I stop by the cemetery and take flowers to my parents' graves. I have to buy plastic or silk flowers because nothing else will stand heat down there for very long. I also have to make sure I have a screwdriver or similar object, to make a hole in the cement hard dirt, because it is usually best just to push the stems directly into the ground, otherwise, vases and such, as we have learned, will just get blown over.

There is one other empty plot by my Mom and Dad, and my siblings and I have joked about who will get that plot. We all say we want to be buried in Crystal, so how 'bout if we just have Leonard's  Funeral home just dig that hole extra deep and stack all four of us like cord wood after we all kick off? We have a pretty good laugh about that.

As I said, I have other family there at Edgewood, and at times when I have had my kids with me at Crystal, I have seen to it to show them where my grandparents, aunts and uncles and other family are buried. Being an amateur genealogist I keep notes about it.

As we drive around, we notice the Mexican family graves and how beautifully adorned with flowers they always are and how ornate some of the monuments and headstones are. It is their culture and they are very devoted to remembering their loved ones who have died.

Sometimes I look at the Mexican graves and the graves of the Anglo people, and it seems that we don't honor our loved ones as much, but then I realize that really we all do honor our loved one all the same; we just do it different ways.

For example, one of the ways I honor my loved ones that have passed on is with the family history research I do. I have diligently traced my family history since I was 18 years old and I have done it for only two reasons. 1.) to know where I came from and 2.) that my ancestors would not be forgotten.

I keep records on Edgewood Cemetery and who is buried there and I keep records on the cemeteries where other family is buried and where those cemeteries are located so that my descendents can find those places should they choose to do so.

As I walk those dusty roads between the graves, and read the headstones, I see the names of people we used to sit by in church, the church secretary, former teachers, and even former classmates. Oh, then there are some of those life lessons! Some of those things I wish I had said when I could have! Wish I had stayed in touch! Wish I had known when they passed away! It seems that my once vibrant hometown is relocating itself to the cemetery! It is about the time that realization hits me that I walk back to my car and drive away.

4 comments:

  1. When Mom and I visited beautiful Greendale Cemetery in Meadville, PA, she used to get annoyed when she saw long grass near the marker for a local physician she had known. "Why doesn't his son keep that grass trimmed?" she'd say. Well, as so often happens nowadays, the son lived 500 miles away. (Anyway, the cemetery caretakers kept the grass mowed, although maybe not as often as Mom through appropriate.) We can't always visit the cemetery, but we can honor our families by researching them, as you say, and also living by the best of the values they passed on to us.

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  2. Nice entry. I also am an amateur genealogist/family historian and for the same reasons. I just got back from Hawaii and see that Hawaiians do the same as Mexicans. They also put solar-powered lights on the headstones so the cemeteries are lit up at night with bright,colored lights. Now that so many opt for cremation, it seems that cemeteries are becoming a thing of the past 8-)...

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  3. I have no grave stones to visit. I still have my mother's ashes and someday my children and I will set them free. I think of her every day and miss her.

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  4. Very humbling post. Thank you for expressing your thoughts for others to be touched by. :)

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