Monday, May 31, 2010
6 days to go
It's Memorial Day, the day our family took flowers to the graves of our people. I looked in vain through photo albums filled over the past twenty years searching for a picture of our family graves. In vain, indeed, but not from memory. I am the last of our family to be part of this tradition. My three sisters and I would cram into the little Ford Coupe along with Mother and Dad, eager for the 75 mile drive to Forestdale, Mass. As we headed out of Greenville, we'd drive through Providence, Seekonk and passing the towers at the head of Cape Cod, Mother would take a deep breath and say, "Ah, smell that fresh air."
Before crossing the Bourne Bridge, we'd stop to buy flowers - usually gladiolus, Spring flowers. Then it was but a few miles through Sandwich to the Forestdale Cemetery. While Mother would arrange the flowers at the headstone of her father and the one next to it of her grandparents, we girls would wander about the small graveyard reading the headstones. I didn't know until my daughter, Barbara, researched it, that my 3rd grandparents Prince and Azubah Fish were buried here. Facing the road was a long line of gravestones for Calvin and Martha Fish along with many of their 11 children. While I still live, I want to clean the black mildew from their stones.
Today I am sad because I am too far to lay flowers on any of my family stones: I lay in my mind flowers in memory of my sister Doris with Herb and my Dad at the Veteran's Cemetery in Exeter, RI; sister Edie is with Ralph in Attleboro, Mass, Cemetery; while my last sister Nancy is with Arlie, my Mother and stepfather and my always remembered first husband, Ralph, at the cemetery in Kaneohe, Hawaii. You are always alive for me.
©Natalie Norman Baer 5/31/10