Sunday, May 3, 2009

Decoration Day

Yesterday was Decoration Day. Or at least it was for my family. The way I read the sign (photo #1), it should be next week. The Saturday before Mother's Day. That would be the day before Mother's Day, wouldn't it? Oh well, it may just be me, since one caretaker did call it Decoration Day and there were other families there also. When my mother (on right photo #4) and her 6 sisters (yes, fellow quilters, you read that correctly, my mother is one of Seven Sisters!) were younger, they would all seven go down on the Friday before Mother's Day and clean the graves of their parents and other family members and put out flowers. Now they are a bit older, we kids are grown and a couple of the sisters have passed on. We locally residing kids (photo #5 Kay (has her back to us), Carol (sticking out her tongue) and Holly (back left) were with Aunt Fern, I (taking the picture) was with my mom and Tammy (back center photo 5 and center photo #4) was with her grandmother, my Aunt Marie) went with our mothers to enjoy the history and tradition of this day with them. Or as I called yesterday, the Great Cemetery Tour of Texas '09.

My Aunt Fern (center photo #3) is the family historian. She's done the ancestry searches and she was the one to discover that we were not of Irish decent (as I had grown up believing) but in actuality of English decent on my mother's Cogswell side of the family. Since that discovery, St. Patrick's Day has never been quite the same for me and although I'm proud of my English heritage, I'm also in mourning for the Irish heritage I never really had and always wanted.

We started Decoration Day at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. One of my aunts is buried there now, as well as one of my uncles (one of their twin brothers) and at least two of my cousins and a great-grandmother. A little later, their remaining twin brother, my Uncle Ron arrived (he and his wife, Patty are here visiting from CA - he's in photo's #3 on the right and #4 on the left) with oldest sister, Aunt Marie and her hubby Uncle J.L (photo #2 for them both and Marie on left in #3).

After leaving this cemetery, we went by two others, successfully and attempted to find a third unsuccessfully. All the while driving down little country roads, hoping it wouldn't rain (it did) and with miserable humidity. When we would arrive at each destination we'd take pictures, tell stories and laugh until we could barely breath. We don't get together nearly often enough.

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