Most of my family can drive up from their home also in Arkansas (although it's still a long drive on small roads), but other family drives down from Illinois, and this year, for the first time in too long, we, too, drove down from Indiana:
|one of my Pappaw's baby siblings--you're going to be heartbroken at how many died in infancy or as very young children|
|I do love the homemade markers, although most from this time haven't lasted. This one is by far the best.|
|Pappaw's father, who died when Pappaw was a child, leaving Pappaw as the head of the family. I want to say that he was approximately Willow's age, but he quit school and went to work then.|
|Since we're studying the Civil War, I was thrilled to have the girls visit the grave of their great-great-great grandfather. It sparked some great(ly difficult) conversations about why your average person would choose to fight for the Confederacy. The girls don't approve, of course, but I hope that they can eventually learn to respect their ancestor's service, if never his cause.|
I hope it becomes real for them, one day, even though their own lives seem so out of that context. During our trip, Willow, of course, asked why we had to go and look at all these graves. Matt said, "When Pappaw looks at these graves, he doesn't see the graves. He sees the people that he loved, and he remembers them." Willow's a lucky girl in that she doesn't have any loved ones yet at whose grave she must stand and remember them, but someday, of course, she and her sister will know exactly what Matt means, and they'll come to appreciate our graveyard workings more as they become sadly more familiar with how grief and memory work.