Legacy Writing 365:340


This is Papa and Miss Mary Jane, though I don’t know what year it was taken. The child he’s holding must be Cousin Rachel. Maybe she’ll see this photo on my FB link and tell me if she knows or remembers it.

One time Rachel wrote me about how we used to go to our great-grandparents’ graves on Decoration Day. She asked if I remembered, telling me: “Papa would round us all up to go to Center. You have to remember going at least once. Remember the trip down to the spring? Dinner on the ground? How unbearably hot? Sand piled up in points on the graves with plastic flowers in abundance? Surely, some of this rings a bell.”

She wonders if I might have been too young to remember, but for some reason, the sand on the graves seems like an image I recall. Or maybe I just see it now that she’s described it. Maybe David or Debby remembers going and can come up with some memories, too.

Do people still have Decoration Days? Do they visit their ancestors’ graves, clear them of weeds, put new flowers there? If I lived closer to the cemetery where my parents are buried, I know I would go often. Cemeteries don’t bother me. I wouldn’t want to spend the night in one, and of course there’s sadness there, but mostly they just seem peaceful.

Do you think a ghost would hang out in a cemetery with a lot of dead people? Maybe all of them talking, sharing stories of their lives? Or would they more likely try to return to the places they lived, or try to find people they love?

The idea of ghosts fascinates me, but I’ve never reached any big conclusions about them. I just like to speculate.

Oh–and in that photo, I love Jane-Jane’s hat.

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7 Responses to Legacy Writing 365:340

  1. Timothy F. says:

    I visit my maternal grandparents’ grave around Christmas every year, however it never needs tidying. As for ghosts…I think a person’s energy lingers where and around those with whom they had been most actively engaged.

  2. Marika says:

    I think that ghosts either follow and watch the people that they loved them, or if there were unresolved feelings or a lot of sadness or anger they go to the place it happened and try to figure it out

  3. Debby says:

    I don’t remember going on those excursions. I think I remember visiting our grandmother’s grave once but I was a little older.

    • Becky says:

      Then it’s up to David. I definitely remember going to the cemetery to see Papa and Jane-Jane’s graves (as well as Maude’s) on more than one occasion. And I even remember one visit to Mother’s parents’ graves, though I may have been ‘tween/teen age then.

      But David’s probably old enough to remember the visits Rachel’s talking about. And I think when he and Aaron did their North Alabama car tour, that may have been one of the cemeteries they went to.

  4. Mark says:

    My Cousin Rachel is a good book!

    I haven’t been to a cemetery in a long time. I used to take Mum to the local cemetery to lay flowers on her parents’, aunt’s and son’s graves on Christmas morning, but don’t get there early enough now, so Dad takes her a few days before.

    • Becky says:

      You know I think your mother is a sweetheart. Both your parents. And you’re a good son to them.

      I agree–I love that novel, though my own Cousin Rachel is not as mysterious–though she’s definitely always been beautiful.

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