Monday, July 15, 2013

sacred ground

Cartecay Methodist Church c. 1859

Last weekend Sue and I were out and about looking for things we had read about in the book An Appalachian Childhood. We found the old home place on our road, and a grave site of one of the people in the book at nearby Cartecay Methodist cemetery. 

We also found this marker for a slave, one in a row of such markers in the middle of the cemetery - which makes one wonder about their placement there, was it a prominent family in the church whose slaves are buried here, was there a big controversy at the time about it?

A walk through the cemetery brought up some interesting conversation about personal burial wishes and the tradition of flowers on graves and visitation.

And how back in 1982 my father-in-law and husband used a transit to plot out the cemetery at Cartecay Methodist and made this map on plywood.

"The coordinate lines for this plot were made by Felton Tidwell and Buddy Tidwell then transferred on to this plyboard with adjustments in the width of the board and showing the approximate location of existing graves, buildings, drive ways, filled areas (in red), Old Cemetery sketch, and deed records. By U. S. Worley 1982"

Did you know that a lot of cemeteries have been listed online, you can look up specific names and find a picture of the grave at Find a, great for genealogy and for just looking up folks. 

I took this opportunity to ask Sue if she had made any arrangements or had any wishes for her final resting place. She had quite a few wishes and I urged her to share them with her children now. She mentioned, "just bury me neath the old cherry tree" and for some reason that phrase stuck in my head, it sounded like a song lyric or a poem, and eventually it turned into one:

just bury me
neath the old cherry tree

that tree up on the hill
brings a smile to my face
'cause I can still see my dad there
at his favorite place

don't send my ashes into the wind
drop from a plane, sprinkle or spread
or wash down stream,
but plant me in the ground instead

I want to be bound to the earth
not displayed in a vase
I want to be one with the land
anchored to this, my home place

a fitting last home for me, I believe
is a wooden box with a blend
of my ashes and dust and
a little sawdust mixed in

just carve out a hole
in this Georgia red clay
place my box made of wood
and mark the spot where I lay

please just bury me
neath the old cherry tree

1 comment:

Joann said...

It is important yo recall our mortality now and again. I think it takes a lot of burden off our NOK if we write out what we wanted when we were healthy and alive.