Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cemetery Crawl

Robin, no need to worry about me checking out just yet. A dirty, little secret pastime of mine is to wander through a cemetery. The peaceful stone gardens are a mix of history and art. I especially love the headstones that are carved by hand. So I was positively giddy with glee when  my friend, Teague invited me to a trip to Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden. We both have family members that are buried here.

I had the locations of my grandparents' graves. I don't ever remember visiting the cemetery. If we did, it was when I was very small. I only know my father's parents and my mother's father from stories and pictures.

I had brought some small stones from my gravel driveway. I placed a stone on top of each of the headstones. The pebbles would be my calling card to let my grandparents know I had stopped by.

I was pleased to see the Veteran's flag at my maternal grandparents grave. My grandfather served in World War I. I'm told he had been very proud of his service to his new country. My dad told me Grandpa fought in some of the larger battles of the War though he didn't know which ones. I'll have to see if I can locate Grandpa's service record from the Veteran's Administration.

I could almost hear my grandmother calling my name. She came to this country as a teen, lived more years here than she did  in her native Italy. She never lost her thick accent and wasn't able to pronounce my name. This was an endless source of teasing from The Brother and cousins. I didn't like it back then, but now it made me smile. Her accent was also a source of amusement for us kids. We would beg her to say Falcon Street and then collapse into gales of laughter.

I was told that most of my family is buried at this cemetery. I really wanted to find the grave of my great-uncle Manny, the stone cutter. Family lore states he carved his own tombstone. Teague wanted to find the graves of her great-grandparents. We headed over to the the cemetery office to see if we could find out the grave locations.

No luck with Uncle Manny. I can't seem to find a death certificate for him. I have the month and year my great aunt passed. The cemetery office had no record of them being buried at this cemetery. I'll have to see if I can get information from the city hall where they had lived.

I went back to the my grandparents' graves and spent the afternoon wandering up and down the rows to see if I could find other family names. I found a few names, but I don't think they are related. It's part of the fun of trying to find the next piece of the family puzzle.

Am I the only ghoul who likes to wander through a cemetery?

1 comment:

  1. Heck no! They are lovely places (in the daylight, lol.) I used to take rubbings of some of the stones. Have no idea where they got to. One of my best memories is wandering around a cemetery in Groton Conn. during a blizzard with Husband. Magical!