Tuesday, November 6, 2007


My mom died 6 years ago today. I remembered.

If anyone else remembered it was silently because no one said anything to me. Not that I really wanted anyone to say anything. It isn't as though I think we should celebrate it or something.

I wrote about her death and the events leading up to it just now in this blog. I had a whole bunch of words typed out. But I erased everyone one of them.

Erasing. That's what it feels like to me. I mean death feels like erasing. I think I may well be the only person that remembered my mom's death today. A few weeks ago was her birthday and a few of us remembered and mentioned it to each other. I will remember all the dates for a while, maybe a long while. But others will gradually forget.

Back when mom died I used to take dad to the cemetery every day. That's when I realized that I didn't know when my grandparents and my aunts and uncles had died. I didn't remember when my friends died. I had an entire calendar of deaths for a while. Morose I know.

Cemeteries are interesting places. I spent so much time out there with dad. Some graves are visited but most aren't. The older ones are visited less and the newer ones are visited more. There are some exceptions but even then it is because of one or two people who visit and I always wondered if someone else would take over when they quit coming.

Dad would stand and talk to mom. I would move away so he could be alone there with her. I would walk among the others and read their names and dates. I would imagine their stories. And oftentimes there would be other alive people out there and I would watch them but from afar. Or I would watch the funeral graveside services.

Even then I knew that someday we would stop coming. And we did finally. One day dad just said no he didn't want to go out there anymore. And that was that.

Dad and mom visited the cemetery a few times a year. Mom would get flowers and they would decorate the graves of their parents and dad's sister and her husband. And sometimes they would visit other cemeteries where other family members were buried and they'd do the same things.

I never wanted to go. I didn't find it very interesting or important. And after all those people were dead and what difference did it make if there were flowers there or whatever. It wasn't like they'd know.

And now it is my time to visit the graves. There are more of them. I realize it isn't about decorations at all. It is about remembering.

Someday I will follow my parents in death. Maybe my son or daughter will take up the task when that happens. Or maybe not.

I realized something else though during the cemetery period. Finally it occurred to me that there weren't many of us in my family actually alive. Most of us are already on the other side. I know a very few of them. I know the names of a few more. But I feel connected to all of them just the same.

Someday I will see them all. I don't know what they are all doing over there but I am pretty certain they are busy and happy. I always imagine it will be kind of like the big family reunions that I remember as a child except the bathrooms will be nicer.

Anyway my mom died 6 years ago today and I remembered.


cornbread hell said...

my dad died 9 years ago. i still go out to his grave site. i usually just sit under the tree and read. i've never told anyone that before. and now i'm telling the whole world.

it's good to hear from you, terry. your words are always healing.

nancy said...

thanks for sharing your memory of your mom. my sister gets into the flowers at the cemetery much more than i do. i agree with you, cemeteries are for remembering. i had to giggle at your perception of what all our LO's who have gone before us are doing. i have always thought it would be like a huge family reunion as well but never thought about even needing bathrooms at all, much less that they would be nicer. LOL.

thanks for sharing such a personal memory. God bless you.

Lori1955 said...

I too had to laugh at the bathroom comment.

I don't go to cemeteries. My dad died in 1978 and I saw his headstone for the first time when we buried my mom in 2004. I know my mom used to go a couple times a year with a bucket and cleaning supplies to clean the headstone.

It's just not a place I like to go but I do remember the dates. They are ingrained in me forever.

~Betsy said...

I'm one to plant the flowers and sit and talk. I did this with Susie for a long time after she passed. Some days I took a book along and just hung out. I've always planted flowers at my grandparents' graves, too. But since my dad died, I stopped. I simply didn't have the time. I'll probably go back to it in the spring.

I'm touched when someone remembers a date as important as a passing. I'm sure your parents are smiling with pride on you.

Annie said...

My Dad died 10 years ago, and had always told us to just burn him up and throw him in a ditch somewhere. Now when I want to feel close to him, I just go out and tend to the garden, because that is how I remember him, always working.

It's good to remember.

steflovesnonna said...

You remember. You cant erase that. Nor would you want to. *hugs* Terry.

Cinnamin said...

Remembering…That is what cemeteries are for…My eight year old has always referred to the cemetery where my Dad is as “the green garden”. He used to ask me if that was Heaven, as he was confused because we told him that Grandpa was in Heaven and then we went to “visit Grandpa” so we must be in Heaven, visiting him! We have had to explain that we go there to remember Grandpa.

Funny story; a child’s logic. The year after Dad passed, my son was four years old. He said that we were “at Heaven” each time we drove thru the cemetery gates. This time when I corrected him, he pointed to the decorations at the entrance, wooden cutouts of a nativity scene and further in, another of a Christmas tree and Santa Claus. He said, “See mommy, it is Heaven, there’s Jesus right there…And look, Santa’s here too! Told you it was Heaven!” Go ahead and try to dispute that!

Yes, we still get a small potted tree and decorate Grandpa’s Christmas Tree and take it out there to him each year. I try to make sure that there are flowers for him as well, he SO loved flowers and always had a yard filled with all kinds. Dad would always tell us not to save the flowers for when he could not enjoy them, and I never did. I brought him flowers when he was alive and I honor him with them now that he is gone.

Yes, it is a place to remember those who have passed…

flintysooner said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I am hoping to visit all the blogs of my friends soon and comment myself but life keeps interfering with my plans.

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

I thought I was the only person who thought it morbid to remember death dates. But honestly, Terry, I think our remembering is because we care so much. My grandmother (the only grandparent I knew) died 4/14/72; she's been gone 35 years. My ex-mother-in-law (had cancer and I was her caregiver) died 11/17/89; she's gone eighteen years. My dad died 3/21/98; he'll be gone 10 years in March.

I got a chuckled, too, about the way you pictured the other side as a family reunion. Never thought about the bathroom situation, but the first thing that came to mind was...anything would be better than the old out house. LOL

Keep those memories and cherish them, Terry. ((HUGS))

Chris said...

Blessed be for life interfering for I am happy you are caught up within it. Enya and I will leave the light on for you.

I remember as well:
Grandma Sally- 4/2/82
Grandpa Walter- 6/3/82
Grandma Jo- 11/5/84
Mom- 8/17/07
Dad- 10/15/07

I remember...with so much love and still with so much sadness.

SKYGIRL said...

Flinty! I would be disappointed if you didn't remember when your Mother Died? She gave Birth to you? I always say "Mom, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here!" Kind of a joke, but not really?

The bathroom, oh, how you ammuse me Flint!

Hey, the new development is opening their Anchor Grocery Store on November 10th! (This Saturday!) I am so excited, I am thinking of taking a Part-Time job there! I will definately take lots of pic's for you, if I do!

arutherford said...

I'm sorry we have a "death date" in common. My Daddy died one year ago Nov. 6th. And yet, I find comfort that it is both a death and life date: death to life as we know it here on earth yet the beginning of their eternal life. That brings me great comfort.

I too imagine a great family and friend reunion in heaven. I have a close girlfriend and our mothers were close friends (as were our grandmothers and great-grandmothers!). We imagine our Mothers sitting around a table with the rest of their friends, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and laughing their heads off. Ironic because when my friend and I were young, our Mothers would embarrass us with their loud laughter. ; } I bet they're having an even better time now!

As always, thank you for being open and willing to share your heart with us.

SKYGIRL said...

In "MY" Heaven, all the previous Pets are there! I know it is not in The Bible, but I think it may have been over-looked! LOL!

I am attending a "Tour" at the Pastor's House, of my 'new' Church, on Sunday Night. I might ask him, what he thinks? But I suspect, I will believe, what "I" believe!

I also wonder about 'who' will be waiting there for You? Since my Mother has been married three times,so far? And there are some that I hope will not be there? He ...He....Hum!

HUMPH! ;-(