Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Guest Post by Misty Beck

After posting the blog remembering Memorial Days from the past, I asked my cousin, Misty Beck, if she would share as a comment an amusing story about how my Uncle Arthur taught her the tradition of decorating graves.  I fear that some of you aren't taking time to read the comments that visitors post, which are certainly worth reading.  In case you missed reading Misty's, I asked her if I could share her story for Memorial Weekend.  I've added this picture of me with my parents, decorating my grandparents' grave when I was about the age that Misty describes in her Guest Post.

Misty's Comment:
My grandparents (Arthur and Wilma, in Lyn's photograph posted May 10, 2012, 4th man from left and 4th woman from left) were adamant that when I was a child in the late 70s and early 80s, that I learn about the meaning of Memorial Day.  But, more importantly, my granddad insisted that I know where all of the family graves were located.  I remember every year as a child loading up the boxes of flowers (replaced with the ease of reusable plastic flowers in their later years) and heading to the cemeteries.

Our route included Farmington at Macksville, Byers (Naron), and Iuka.  At the cemetery, I would sit in the back of the pickup, or if we were in the car on the trunk--they didn't worry so much about safety back then. My granddad would drive, and when I found a family grave, I had to knock on the back glass.  He would stop, and then I had to show him where the grave was and tell him who was buried there.  This probably started when I was 3 years old.  My granddad died when I was 8, but I have very vivid memories of our trips to the cemeteries and how important it was to him that I know where those graves were.

While locations were important to my granddad, my grandmother found other things important.  Every year as we finished at the last cemetery (Iuka), she would remind me that we had one more set of flowers to put out.  See, my dad was adopted by my grandparents, because his biological mother died when he was born and his biological father couldn't take care of him.  Her grave was our last stop every year, because my grandmother always said we needed to thank his birth mother because she gave my dad to my grandparents.  And, if she hadn't, they wouldn't have me.  Of course, that was my grandmother's way of making it important to me.

I could probably still find all of the graves but must admit my Memorial Weekend pilgrimage is much shorter.  I just visit one cemetery to decorate our family graves there, but I am thankful that my grandparents took the time and energy to educate me on these great family traditions.  And, as I leave the Iuka cemetery every year, I put a small bunch of flowers on my dad's biological mom's grave...just like Gram always insisted.  


Kim said...

I love the photo, as well as Misty's remembrances. I, like you and Misty, grew up with the tradition of decorating graves. We still continue the tradition on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Our circuit includes Greenlawn Cemetery in Pratt, the Iuka Cemetery, Pleasant Plains and Macksville. Happy "Decoration Day" to you!

Unknown said...

Misty, thanks so much for the memories. Your grandparents were very special people.

Kim said...

Just a note to let you know I linked your Woodmen grave marker post to my blog today (May 29)

The Blog Fodder said...

A heartwarming memorial post. Thank you.