Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Special Tradition Passed On

The other day my twin sis, Jackie, and I loaded up all the kids for a little field trip to a favorite pioneer cemetery. This cemetery is about four or five miles from the ranch we grew up on. When we were kids we used to explore the grounds and look at all the headstones. We found Clara's grave when we were teenagers. When we read the inscription our hearts were pierced. We both decided to make it our personal mission to see that Clara Campbell's grave would not be forgotten. It has been over a hundred years ago since this little nine-year old girl died, yet she is still being remembered today.
The inscription reads,

"I pray you if you ever pass this sunken grave within the grass; touch tenderly the crumbling stone and say for me in undertone, Clara, Clara Dear".

My heart just clenches as I picture the parents of this obviously much-loved child standing over her grave weeping.
Jackie and I have now passed the baton over to our children. Here they are whispering "Clara, Clara Dear". I don't know why but these kind of things just grip me. I don't mean to be morbid. I just enjoy connecting to the past. I long to be remembered long after I am gone. Even if it just someone coming by and touching the headstone of my grave.
The grass was so tall it was hard to see most of the graves. The little ones were swallowed up by it! It was a nice adventure and I know my mom would have been proud of us. She loves to do this kind of stuff with us. In fact, we used to sit on the edge of this grave and have our picnic. I know, not the most respectful (yikes!).


This picture is of the old school house across from the cemetery. We used to drive by this every day and sometimes we would stop and explore it.
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20 comments:

Parsley said...

What a neat experience.

Robin said...

*wiping tears* Beautiful!

I still remember your Dad telling me he went to that school when he was little - and I believed him for weeks until one day I was mentioning it to you and your sis and you both shouted "HE! DID! NOT!" We laughed a good long time.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

That would be Dad!

Regina @VestPocketFamilyFarm said...

I love the little boy's stone that says, 'our little pet'. Love that little cemetary.

Kimberly said...

Oh, what a beautiful place! Why don't you look into refurbishing or replicating that little school? and maintaining the cemetary, there must be a historical society in the area that would find it interesting. I love history and I also strongly connect with the pioneers. My ancestors on both sides of my family, came to the US very early {like 1600's early}.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I was so happy we did this, Stace! I'm glad the kids got to see Clara's grave. I wish I could have known what she looked like and what she died of.

candy said...

That is the one thing Wyatt wants to do really bad, is go to look at the graves. But at the cemetary here. you'll have to tell me how to get to that one you were at. He would love seeing those.
I don't think you are morbid, you have a very loving heart.

Catherine said...

I love to explore a cemetary myself! In fact one of my favorite walks is through the one nearby. What a sweet thing to carry on with your kids. And I don't think there is anything wrong with pinicking over someone's grave. Personally, I'd love it if folks did that over my grave to celebrate my life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for carrying on the tradition, my Staciebug. Exploring old cemeteries can really provide a history lesson. It can also help all of us be more connected to the past, to those who went before us and paved the way. I think it also helps us appreciate the lives we have today and makes us look at how easy we have it compared to the hardships and heartaches our pioneer foremothers faced. Love - Mom

Chris in FL--Joyful Mother said...

That is such a neat place. It definitely looks like it's abandoned. Good thing you all still make your visit there...

Linda said...

Hi Stacie, thanks for the comments on my blog.

Speaking of graves, the alleged Man From Snowy River is buried in our local cemetary, Jack Riley. I suppose no one will ever know if it was really him or not. We have a re enactment every year of a ride he did to our town I think.

The actual place of the filming was Craig's Hut in Mansfield I think which is closer to Melbourne for the film crew I suppose. The mountains in my blog are the Snowy Mountains.

Linda said...

So much grass. In Australia it would be a snake worry! Still it looks like you can get around OK.

Mich said...

What a precious piece of history.

Looks like you had a good family day together.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Linda, I was worried about snakes too. I don't think we have as many here as in Australia.

Also, there was a huge badger hole that had been dug right in front of one grave. I was holding Lily and we about fell into it. That would have been creepy!

RaD said...

Somehow I think her parents would think you were being respectful by taking the time to spend the time there by her side.

Camille said...

How lovely...and sad. We enjoy looking through old cemetaries too. Amazing how many children you can find there. Oh how dreadful to have to bury a child!!

Blessings,
Camille

melaniek said...

That is really neat. I love the simple history like that...little things discovered that aren't taught in the books we read at school.

kathy said...

All of my school holidays were spend out in the middle if nowhere (camping as my Dad loves looking for gold) and we would always visit the cemetary. I use to love it! I haven't taken my kids yet but might do that soon.
I love the look of that little school house! I could day dream about that for a while!

Tamra said...

The Lord said, “And he [Elijah] shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.” (D&C 2:2.)

This comes to mind when I think about the feelings we have in cemeteries. Every year that we attend the Memorial Day service in Hermiston, I encourage my kids to leave extra flowers and flags on gravesites that look like family wasn't able to come. I always pray someone does the same for my ancestors who gravesites I haven't made it to yet. :) So, I applaud you for your kind acts. You guys are the best!

Amy said...

You have a most beautiful soul.

God Bless

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