Monday, May 27, 2013

seeing dead people

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  There will be parades in the morning, but I won’t be getting up early to attend any.  I’m grateful for the three-day weekend; things at work have just been hell lately.  On Memorial Day, people visit graves and put flowers on them.  We set aside one day a year to honor people who’ve served in wars, and to remember loved ones.

Honestly, I haven’t purposely visited any graves in years, but after talking to my brother who said he intended to put flowers on our grandparents’ graves, it stirred up a bit of guilt in me.  I bought a pot of flowers wrapped in patriotic-printed foil, drove down to the cemetery, and deposited the pot in front of their headstone.  A few people were milling about, nobody I knew, or I would have stayed longer to look around.  The place will seem significantly different before long; a chemical plant is going to be built this year just across the much for resting in peace. 
Green Cemetery, St. Paul, KY
We used to mow the cemetery (the one I visited today) every week when I was young.  It seemed so big, but really it’s just a little country grave yard out in the sticks.  I’m not one who needs to visit a grave to remember the dead, but visiting those final resting places makes me remember the dead people more.  Not only this cemetery, we mowed another in a church yard a few miles from the one I visited today.  We mowed grass for at least 3-4 hours nearly every day of summer when it wasn’t raining.  My great grandfather had 4 or 5 lawnmowers so keeping grass cut was always a team effort. 

I talked to my alcoholic brother this morning.  He told me he’d been talking to our great aunt Louise.  I asked if he meant he’d been dreaming about her (she’s been dead for at least 20 years), but he assured me it was no dream.  Then he changed the subject.  Maybe it’s a sign the end is near for him.  Just a few months before my grandfather died, he started insisting my grandmother had been visiting him...and not in his sleep.  A friend whose mother recently died told me she claimed to have been chatting with  her dead sister.  It seems that maybe the boundary between the living and dead gets fuzzy for people who are nearing that great divide.
Great grandmother, Great Aunt Louise, Great Great Grandmother
So tomorrow, it’s one last day of freedom.  What to do with it?  We have chicken to cook on the grill, and we’re planting the vegetable garden tomorrow.  I’ve been putting flowers into pots all week, but still have two flats to do something with.  Perhaps Someone and I will play golf instead, but if it turns out to be a rainy day, I’ve plenty of inside work to do.  Anything is going to better than my usual Monday, even if it’s cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors.

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