On the way to Elmwood Cemetery yesterday, I asked Svea if she knew what a cemetery was. She said No.
So I pointed out of the window at the cemetery and she said OH YEAH I know what that is.
She and Henry used to call cemeteries "die on earth" places.
I explained we were going to visit Papa J's grave, that there would be a marker there that Uncle Johnnie made marking where he was buried.
She said WHY?
So I said sometimes people want a place to go to remember someone even though that person won't be there.
She asked, logically, so are we going to dig up Papa J?
It was windy (curvy roads and air blowing on you) but Mama J finally led us to Block 30 (she told Scott that it was around some trees...and that there were a lot more graves out here than there used to be...two lines that she will never live down since she said them to Scott Matthews).
Lydia and Corinne checked out some head stones...
Corinne stood at her great-great-grandfather's marker.
Dad called him Pie (maybe from playing Pee-Pie - that is, Peek-a-Boo, as a child?) but he was Mama J's dad and a dentist named Loran Lane.
Mama J looked and looked and told us stories.
It was hard to get a cousin picture with the sun in our eyes and the wind and leg warmers and Corinne can walk so why should she sit?
But we tried...
Here's Papa J's marker that John Stewart made. I had never seen it.
We did two rubbings of it...one for Lydia and Miriam to take home and one for us.
Another treasure for our family, a story-starter on many levels.
This is a shifting iron name plate that connects us through family alive and dead, offers the images of a sun rising or setting and the Methodist flame and cross - two images that never stay, cast in iron that will never fade. The irony is not lost.
Nor is my experience with my own Henry and his idiosyncrasies that remind me of Papa J.
Thank you, Veterans Day, for making me take the time to connect what is important in our growing family.