Saturday, November 1, 2008

Día de los Muertos

I'm not certin that there is even a very small Hispanic community in Mayberry, but since it would be my parents 60th wedding anniversary, I will share two Day of the Dead stories with you.

The second funeral I ever attended was three days after the first. It was the summer I turned 16, and it was my grandfather's, a man I was never close to and generally feared.

Fortunately, for us, funeral customs has evolved since then. In the old days wakes were 3 long days and nights, followed by the funeral and burial. By the end of the ordeal you were glad to see your loved ones go. There is only so much family you can take at one sitting.

So, finally we got to the burial site, and old Catholic cemetary, in an old portion of St. Louis. Along with my immediate family was my then girlfriend, later wife.

I remember a sunny, hot, humid day. I was easily distracted since I was new to cemetaries, and was concentrating more on the surroundings than on the service. So looking down the family plot at the graves of people, long dead, of whom I had never heard of I'm suddenly double gobsmacked.

At the far end of the family plot, is what appeared to be my girlfriend's family plot. What are the odds? After a bit of research we learned that buried side by side is a distant grandmother of mine, and a distant grandmother of hers. We were the first generation to have a suitable boy/girl combo in our respective families for several generations.

If you believe in marriages made in heaven, it was pretty weird.

The second smack? Did you ever see a tombstone with your exact name on it? Disconcerting, at best. Next to grandfather is a stone with my name on it, only its not me. My parents had a child who died in infancy. They gave me his exact name. Now that's weird.

Enjoy your candy, we've got a lot of heavy lifting to do later in the week.



Anonymous said...

Oddest thing I've seen:
Grandmum's stone - made, maybe 30 years ago with the usual: birthdate followed by deathdate.
What's odd? It reads as follows:
May 9, 1915 - ______ __, 19____
Well, she hasn't gone anywhere, happily, still very much around and sassin' ! !
That end date "19__" will have to be "reworked".

Toad said...

There's probably a lot of those out there. Pretty cool though.