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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day at The Cemetery

These are our five grandkids at Niagara Falls, 2007, the first time they were ever together--and probably the last. Everybody lives somewhere else. It takes a village, but most of us are living in cities of business associates. We have our kids for a minute. After that they're gone.

Once your kids are fully grown, middle aged adults living around the country with your grandchildren who you hardly know, Mother's and Father's Day become days to remember the dead. Honey and I go to the cemetery to leave stones on our parents' stones--and on some on their friends' stones as well. I guess the crowd all bought plots at the same time from the same plot salesman thinking it would be great going through eternity together.

Leaving stones instead of flowers is a Jewish tradition. Flowers die and need to be cleaned up. Stones, on the other hand, just sit there needing no additional maintenance services. BUT there is the danger of the stones falling off the stones and getting caught up in the lawn mower blades grinding them useless and a costly repair. Flowers? Stones? Take your pick.

I like to take a stone of just the right size. One you can see from a distance, but without your glasses. These are not easy to find. Some parking lots around town have beds dividing the rows filled with them. For a while, I kept track of those lots and Honey and I would stop on our way to pick up a few. Then one year I extended our patio with slate blocks and brilliantly filled the crevices between with perfect stones for our yearly cemetery run. Not pebbles. Not rocks. You don't want your cemetery stone to be too piddly or too flashy. Too piddly a stone and for sure there's a bent blade in the future. Too flashy a stone and you risk attracting unsavory sorts, the kind who would steal the stone off your loved one's stone and use it for their very own. At the cemetery, You run into all sorts. Sometimes your cousins, aunts and uncles.

This is my favorite cemetery picture. My family gathered around my grandma and grandfather's stone in the first Jewish cemetery in Detroit. There's not a stone on top of that stone;
no one wanted to add any more weight. I think it's a hoot. Very Adams Family. Watch the thorns Gomez, they're lovely this time of year.


  1. Families do grow apart which is good and also sad... Because no matter the distance, family should try to get together before they realize, that they 'shoulda, coulda'...My distant cousin would laugh because my mom's side would always get together whenever there was a funeral, wedding.... and yes it is a shock to see each other after 25 years or so... I use to have a crush on my distant cousin who followed in his dad's footsteps of being a surgeon... To see him now, he seems sad- 2 ex wives and he has lost that twinkle in his eyes...
    anyway we celebrated yesterday to avoid the crazies today at the restaurants... we were minus one child due to his 'disorder' which made me feel sad...

  2. I'm glad you celebrated though. Last week, you were not into Mother's Day.
    I'm not seeing my kids, but I've heard from all of them. We're entertaining out-of-town friends all day today--bringing in lunch, going out of dinner, gabbing and gossiping. Weather's great. Spring flowers are flowering. Actually quite different from the norm where we usually have rain.

    Tomorrow we'll be seeing them again along with the other couples in the gang. The big squabble among the girls has been where to go for dinner. Each of us has a different idea. I had more of one and made an actual reservation; it was panned by one this morning, so there's a bit of electricity in the air. It'll add to the evening's excitement. The great part about tomorrow is it's going to be a paint day. I haven't done that in a week. I am definitely looking forward to a more reclusive art week and catching up on your blogs.

  3. Actually, I am not really into it.. Not having my son participate really hurts... It hurts all of us... To be honest, it feels as if he is not alive... yes, u read it right...I wish that he would realize he needs help, it would make the girls and me feel on top of the world.

  4. I sometimes leave stones on my parent's stone just because they they collected strange-shaped rocks. My brothers and I are also inclined to leave small toys or objects--whatever our parents might have found funny. We think Dad probably appreciates it but Mom would like us to "act like normal people." Makes it easy to identify my parents' graves. Happy belated Mother's Day.

  5. Belated Happy Mother's Day to you too Hallie. I never thought about toys or weird things my folks would like. I will from now on thought. Thanks.