A Day of Remembrance

May 28, 2006

Memorial Day, also knows as Decoration day, has for many years been a big deal in my family. I remember going up to the farm as a kid and helping my Grandpa put out the flags on the graves and then pulling them up again after Memorial Day was over. Mike and I always thought it a little weird and creepy walking through the graves. My Grandmother would always decorate their parents graves and then take me to see the headstone that was already engraved with her name on it. That always seemed so morbid to me, yet I loved to look at the unusual grave markers and the dates when people died. I remember seeing the babies and children that died so young. A graveyard has a way of making time stand still and causing reflection in your soul.

Saturday my family plus my parents travelled to the Kirk Cemetary behind my Grandparent’s farm to decorate the family’s graves as tradition would have it. Here are some pictures of our trip to Allendale for the day. I’ve included the gravemarker’s of my ancestors. Hope you don’t find this creepy, somehow it holds a lot of importance to me. (Aunt Carolyn, here are some pictures of home!!)

park
This is a sign on the stage in the park located on the town’s square.

church
First Baptist Church of Allendale. This is another site on the square as we drive through town. This is the church my Grandparent’s attended, my Mom and Aunt attended all their growing up years, my Mom was married here and we spent many a Sunday warming the pews ourselves.

farm2The view of the road to the farm house. It hadn’t changed a bit. Someone else is living in the house now, but it looks the same.

farm1The back of Grandpa’s barn as we see it after leaving the cemetary.

grave7Kirk Cemetary. You can see Grandpa’s barn way off in the distance. I used to get up in the hay mow and look out the window overlooking the cemetery.

grave1

grave2
Gilbert and Leona were my Grandparents. How I miss them! I’m glad I will see them again.

grave5
Victoria Evaline and William were my Grandmother’s parents. Evely was named after my Great Grandmother’s middle name.

grave4
Cora and William were my Grandpa’s parents.

grave6The boys enjoyed all the flags in the cemetery.

After decorating the graves, we dropped Tom and Julian off at my Grandpa’s pond (yes, we got permission) and took the little ones to the park on the square. It was so hot and muggy so after a short time went back to pick them up. We pulled up on the road and when Tom saw us he made a mad dash for a stringer in the water and pulled up a huge bass. Julian had caught this one!!!

fish2
It’s a big one!!

cafy
On the way out of town we had to stop at the cafe in town for a huge plate of openfaced roast beef, gravy and mashed potatoes. Yummy!

It was a good day! One I will cherish in my heart. I miss the farm and the “old times”, but time has a way of moving us forward, leading down new paths and new beginnings. We will never forget this place, our origins and I hope never our ancestors. The heritage that I have is a godly one. The men and women that grace the branches of the family tree above me are noteworthy. They were tough, hardworking and all of them valued the importance of having Christ in your life.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming … WOW! What a ride!”

Karen

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18 responses to A Day of Remembrance

  1. I remember a few trips myself to your Grandparents farm. We had so much fun…Your Grandma and Grandpa were neat people. It’s funny how those relationships intensify even after they are gone and how the longing grows for our children to know them.

  2. That is so true, Merri! It does intensify and I do wish my children could know them.

    I remember those trips to the farm with you, Merri. Those are great memories. When we were up there this weekend I was remembering when we went to find Ridgeway. I was driving and we topped that hill coming down to that one lane bridge and that big cow was right there in the middle of the road! Do you remember that?

  3. What great pictures. It’s so neat that you come from such a Godly heritage. What a great benefit that is to you and your children. You are very, very blessed.

    We were out at my dad’s last night. We rode four wheelers all over the acreage that I ran around and drove around on in my go cart! I was so fortunate to get to grow up on such beautiful land. The kids love four wheeling out there, just like I did when I was little. James and my dad go really fast and they scream and giggle. I like to drive fast but I am not as brave. The kids would rather ride with their daddy and grandpa. Anjelia kept asking for the keys. She thought she could hop on and drive!

    Anyway, it’s fun to visit the places of our childhood and remininsce. I wish it didn’t make me feel so sad though.

  4. It does make you sad. It is so bittersweet to look back and remember. Today we are getting ready for our garage sale and I am putting all the baby stuff out and remembering each kid and what thy were like as babies.

    I’m pretty bummed out today. Tom told me we could adopt a little foreign baby if it would make me feel better. Not a good idea.
    :cry

  5. Those melancholy days are hard. I had one Saturday. My dad stopped by earlier in the day and I was very, very sad and heartsick feeling for the rest of the day. Sometimes life can be incredibly painful. I really enjoyed hanging out with him on Sunday. It was just Daddy and connie and the boys and our family.

    I hope you are feeling more of the sweet than the bitter, soon. As you know, I am still struggling a little with moving on, even though I am excited about my family growing up a bit.

  6. I’m glad you had fun with your Dad! I’m sure that was really fun going four wheelin’. It’s nice to have places in the country to go visit so the kids can experience the differences isn’t it.

    Yeah, I am starting to think that there will always be a struggle with the kids growing up. You want them to grow up, to become independent. . .yet it is sad too. I’m sure it will be this way till they are married and all out of the house.

  7. That is one big fish!!! :fish

  8. Julian was very proud!! :fish

  9. Yep, I remember the cow…and I remember my heart stopping, too…!

  10. Yep, dad is pretty proud too.

  11. I remember catching fish just like that one when I was his age. It was such an exciting feeling reeling it in. I remember my very first one. My dad was on the other side of the lake when it bit. I remember yelling for help and him running around the lake to help me pull it in.

    Good job, Julian. It’s a thing of beauty! You should be really proud!!!

    Glad you girls didn’t hit the cow! :eek

  12. You did great with those pictures and the memories they stirred up!
    I could just almost smell the country air (and the fishy fish).

    I think as a child, the times I would feel the most free would be when I would ride up and down that gravel road as fast as I could with the air blowing my hair back and yet knowing one slip out of the beaten track an into the loose gravel and I would be a-gonner. Maybe that made it even just a little more fun to be a little daring that way.

    Thanks for the pictures and mind joggers. Glad you had a good holiday trip.

  13. I couldn’t get over how good the farm looks. Most of the fences have been dozed and new fencing is up around the septic laterals. There aren’t any cattle in so the ground is well grassed. (Well grassed?…) The pond across the road looks great, all that land north of the pond is planted and all the field around the pond is planted. The tree lines around the farm have been dozed so you can really see the countryside. The house still looks the same, but the lot next to the house where the windmill sits is planted. It’s starting to look like a house in the middle of a corn field. Bittersweet but I think the grandparents would greatly approve.

  14. Karen thanks for sharing this moment with us. I remember going to decorate the great-grandparents headstones with my Grandma. It was a great time for her to share fond memories of them (they like your great-grands died well before I was born). It really made me feel connected to the past.

    My dad and my mom and her siblings decorated the graves this past weekend also.

    Awesome catch, Julian!!!!

  15. Hi Aunt C, I remember riding our bikes up there too. One time I was riding over East and this great big deer came bounding out and ran right in front of me. I wrecked my bike and just sat this forever with my heart pounding in my throat. At first it seemed no one would believe me. I remember going back to the spot and looking for hoof prints to see if I didn’t imagine it. :)

    The memories of the farm are so great! Just being up there again felt like coming home even though we weren’t in the house or anything.

  16. Thanks for sharing the pics. You always have such sweet stories to tell. Many times I wish I had stories about ” the grandparents”, but I really don’t. I don’t think I ever spent a single holiday with any extended family & I hardly knew my dad’s parents. The only grandparent I ever saw on a “regular” (like once a year) basis was my mom’s mom.

    Many times I am brought to tears just seeing my children playing at my parents house. It’s such a normal thing for them to run into grandma’s house and play. As a child I remember being jealous of my friends who had grandparents that they knew really well. I can’t say that I ever knew what it was like to be loved by a grandma or grandpa, but I can sure see the effects of a grandparents love in the lives of my own children….and it is quite special indeed!

  17. It IS wonderful that you can watch your kids experience something that you haven’t, Amber. At least you can somehow recapture through them the joy. Grandparents are such a wonderful blessing! I love watching the kids with our two sets also. I’m glad they get to be close to them and know what it is to have them!

  18. Very nice post Karen and interesting.