Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Sad Story...told on grave markers

(Warning:  this is the longest blog post I've ever written!)

I've been in our local cemetery more times than I can remember....often for graveside services and more often with a camera.  When I was still teaching high school English, I took one of my classes out to the cemetery (about a 2-mile walk) to look at the old headstones.  We were studying "Spoon River Anthology" at the time, a collection of poetic epitaphs (Wikipedia:  Each poem is an epitaph of a dead citizen, delivered by the dead themselves. They speak about the sorts of things one might expect: some recite their histories and turning points, others make observations of life from the outside, and petty ones complain of the treatment of their graves, while few tell how they really died.) Each time I've gone to the cemetery, I've gone in the main gate, but until the other day I hadn't paid any attention to the first 5 little headstones right inside the entrance.  It was a pink flower that enticed me to pull off the country road and drive in.  A relative of the sweet pea, the flower was a good subject for my camera. 

There are no epitaphs on the 5 stones, but there is definitely a story....and it's a sad story of a woman named "Alma."  
This stone caught my eye first. 

Twelve years later, this one.
A grown daughter...but still young

Alma is a widow 9 years after the death of her daughter; she's just 65
As is often the case, the widow lives many more years.
I haven't done any other research of this family, but the cemetery certainly provides an outline of their story.(My own mother was widowed at 60, when my father died at 65; she'll be 92 on August 7.) 


TexWisGirl said...

those twins and the next 2 day old. such losses... and then to lose a 23 yr old daughter. incredible blows for one person to endure.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

And I complain about my misfortunes...this has certainly put things in perspective. You're correct: these headstones tell a story with just the names and dates. Very sad.

Angie said...

Awww... :(

Laura~Pretty Pix said...

There's a peaceful old cemetery close by that I often walk. One section was just for children, some only a day old. A sad mystery from the forgotten past.
A good post, thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

to me it's amazing how some grave stones stay in such good condition & others not so much. i hope you have a chance to find the story behind. that would be fun. i love the stories. the lives that are there & lived way before we came along. thank you for sharing. (:

Candy C. said...

Wow, how sad for her to lose her babies. :( I wonder if she had any children who lived.

justine said...

very sad. I love your new header

Lisa Gordon said...

This is really sad, and interesting, Evelyn, and I am so glad that I am not the only one who love to investigate old graves.

Have a wonderful weekend!
xo. said...

I love old cemeteries and the stories behind those markers. This is a very sad one.

simply kim said...

that is really sad.. to outlive the ones we love..

a visit from kim!

Connie said...

I love that in your heart you found a place to honor this woman and her painful loses. Life had to have been hard and lonely for her. I too have lost three sons, so I feel her pain.
Do you know a lady named Elnor Alkio? She is 95 years young and owns and runs an antique shop in Pendleton. I just did a post of a little side trip that I made last week. On this trip is when I met her and was so impressed with her loveliness. If you do know her and visit Pendleton, please let her know that I featured her shop on my site. Have a marvelous day, and keep packing your camera with you. You are an inspiration. Connie :)

Connie said...

Hello Evelyn, I am so happy to see that you came over to visit. I was so impressed with this dear lady and the fact that she still got up each morning and opened her shop. Not only that but she was dressed to perfection, with a lovely dress, make-up and jewelry. The body gets old and stiff, I'm only 66,(seems very young to her 95) but many a day I only shower, comb my hair, brush my teeth and call it finished. She was a delightful gal. Her shop is called The Collectors Gallery at 223 S.E Court (the main street). Pop in, I'm positive that you will find many items to capture with your camera.
Have a lovely week. Connie :)
P.S. What do I need to do to persuade you to follow me, too?

alissa apel said...

That is sad! Many twins now a days are delivered via c-section. So much can go wrong delivering multiples.

Unfortunately I understand all too well about visiting the section of the cemetery of children. :( My mom and sister both had babies that passed away. They both are rare carriers of Trisomy 18. I have a nephew that is living that has it. He is a year old. 10% only make it past being a year old! He's a rare sweetheart!

I love mystery stories. I'd want to look into this family as well.

When I lived in Savannah, GA they had all kinds of old cemeteries that were filled with history. Some were the kind that had steps going down. They were blocked off, so I couldn't go down them. Spanish moss hangs on trees there. Everything is pretty creepy, mysterious and fascinating all at once.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

It would be interesting to research further. Alma may have lived in triumph despite these tragedies which were so much more frequent in her day.