Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sunday after the second Saturday...

This is my grandpa putting flowers on my grandma's grave for Decoration tomorrow.
I'm not sure why we started early.

If you're not from the Appalachians you may have never heard of Decoration Day. It's what the idea of Memorial Day came from. It warranted its own paragraph in Wikipedia under Memorial Day -

"Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains.
In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles.

People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others.

There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass.

It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea." 
This is my great- grandparents grave... I called them Ma and Pa but my Grandma, in true Appalachian fashion, called them Mommy and Daddy her whole life.

Further down this way in the Taylor Family Cemetery are the graves of my great great grandparents and my great great great grandparents.  Tomorrow morning the cemetery will be full of distantly related people we don't know and lots of firsts and second cousins we haven't seen since last Decoration.

This is my first Decoration since Moma's been gone.  Two years ago we all came down here for Decoration and my grandma was so sick - she would only live for another month after that. But she went everywhere with us. She was such a fighter.

I couldn't come the next year,... I had emergency surgery and couldn't get out of bed. 

So I've made trips in between to decorate her grave for the seasons, but this is different.  I've never been to Decoration without her.  What do I do, how do I act without her? This is her thing and I am just a supporting player with no one here to support.

I miss her so much.


  1. Michelle, this sounds like a wonderful reunion that at once keeps extended family in touch and honors those whose lives were dedicated to its establishment. In families, we're all supporting players. One ultimately raises oneself and it can be a pretty lonely business sometimes...I tell people their kids are cute etc.

  2. Thank you Geo., I hadn.'t looked at it this way...