I remember when I was a child and Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. We lived in the suburbs of Cleveland and so on the weekend of “Decoration Day” we would go out into the country, not unlike where we live now, to visit my great-grandparents graves. My mom and dad would take red geraniums and plant the urn that marked my great-grandparents grave. BTW- their last name was Jones- how fitting that I live in Jones County. O.k. back to my story- as a child I thought it was so cool to go there and pump the water by hand to carry by bucket to water the flowers once they were planted. I remember walking around the cemetary and looking at all the headstones trying to find the oldest ones there. Keep in mind that this was a very old cemetery so some of the stones were from the early 1800’s. I think that is where my fascination with cemeteries came from. I find nothing more peaceful that walking around, looking at the names and dates of birth and death. My heart always aches when I see those of young children or babies, wondering what were the circumstances that caused their death. Living in the midwest, I’m sure that it was the hardship of being those brave pioneers. Thinking about the families and wondering what their lives must have been like back then.
We have lived in two parsonages that have had church cemetaries on the property and as we approach this Memorial Day holiday memories come back about those days of traveling to Columbia Station with my mom and dad (I think they still go and they are now in their 80’s). Yesterday was especially cool as folks from our church decorated the cemetery here with flags. They create an avenue of flags and it is absolutely stunning! Each flag has a name by it of someone that has served in the Armed Forces. Since my dad is also a vet it is especially cool for me to see this. For anyone that has a chance I would suggest that you drive out to our church to see this beautiful site.
God most certainly exists in those places for me as I find peace and His presence as I walk from our house, seeing the flags, the people coming with flowers, and thinking of those days of decorating my great grandparents grave!