Friday, January 8, 2010

A Cemetery Visit

My father died in 2006, the day after Christmas. Ironically the same day as a distant cousin you may have heard of, President Gerald Ford.
This is not my parents' gravestone, although it is for a more distant family member. It is located in Alton Cemetery, a little bit north of Lowell, in Kent County MI.

This is a story about a road trip I took with Dad and his last two sisters, the summer before he died. He was weak even then, but wanted to take this trip. Aunt Glenna and I are always up for cemetery hopping, and we even managed to drag Aunt Joycie along.
It was a fairly long day, and by the time we got to this cemetery, Dad was rather tired and stayed in the car. The Aunts and I roamed the cemetery and showed me some of our family stones. There are lots of names from the family tree here. Ford. Condon, Aldrich, Barto. The nearest relatives are my great grandparents, Omar and Carrie. (Why, oh why do I have so many family stones that are flush with the ground?)
They are part of the tangles found in every family tree. Carrie was my paternal grandmothers mother. She is buried with her second husband, Omar. He is my paternal grandfather's father.
They were part of the reason Dad wanted to make the trip.
Above is Carrie's mother and one of my Fords. That is another twisty branch. Below is the stone of Edna's parents. Her mother Fanny's name is on the side to the left of this, facing south if I remember right. Both have the clasped hands emblem. Her dad's side, shown here, shows my favorite family name: Barlo Barto.
Even though he wasn't able to wander the cemetery, my dad did enjoy making the tiring trip. A farwell to his grandparents and beyond perhaps, but also a chance to pass along the family to me.
Thanks Dad.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say thanks. I have been following you for a few weeks, and I really enjoy the things you post. Your articles are interesting, and informative.

    When we go to some of the ghost towns here in Nevada, we always ask where the cemetry is, and we make sure to stop by, and see what there is to see.