Sunday, March 11, 2007


Cemetery near Painted Church
Big Island, Hawaii

I went for a walk today and the weather was beautiful. Can't believe how nice and warm it is for March.

My favorite place to walk is through the cemetery. We are fortunate that where we live there are two cemeteries that are just a few blocks away. Usually you are never bothered by anyone and only on the occasion that there is a funeral do you see anyone other than the groundskeepers. There must not be very many people that enjoy walking through the cemetery because whenever I walk on the regular streets I always meet quite a few people.

Cemeteries are fascinating places. You can lose yourself in all kinds of thoughts while walking. You wonder what happened to that person or what their life may have been like. You wonder about why someone may have died as a baby or why that person was so fortunate to have lived the long life they did. Some of the headstones show wealth and others show those of little means. Some people you know and some you don't.

I spent a lot of time in the cemetery as a child. There was one about a block away from where I lived. I played there all the time and as long as nothing was destroyed the kids in the neighborhood were allowed to spend time there. I remember there was one particular plot that was very intriguing. The people must have been very rich because they had a cement border all the way around and it was raised up about a foot in height. There was a cement pillar that was in the center with the family name on it. There were two steps at the opening and you could walk up them and walk around the graves of the people that were buried there. We used to call it our house and we spent many hours there playing.

Not too long ago I went back to the cemetery and tried to find that same grave that I played at for so many hours as a child. It took me awhile because the picture that I had in my mind wasn't the same as what I was finding. Finally after retracing my steps I found the place. It had changed over the years. The cement border around it was pretty much level with the ground now and the two steps were almost buried. There was also a big evergreen tree growing right in front of the steps. It is funny how big something was as a child and then when you go back it seems to have shrunk in size. It wasn't as big as I thought it was in my memory.

I went for a walk with my Mother through the cemetery in my home town a few years ago and we spent the whole afternoon there before the mosquitoes came out and chased us away. It was amazing how many people she knew and really how many I knew also. My mother is 90 now so I can understand her knowing many of the people but I too knew more than I realized.

Mom pointed out different headstones and told of her memories of different people. One I remember was of the Ochitani's. (You can bet that I really messed up the spelling on that one.) They were oriental people that ran a cafe in the little town that we lived in. I can remember the ginger cookies with the hard frosting on them that you picked out of the huge glass cookie jar on the restaurant counter. My Dad used to carry me to the little cafe and I got to pick my own cookie!

Another was of a man that used to live way out in the country with his wife and children. Mom said she heard the story of why he died. He had committed suicide after murdering his wife and young daughter. The boys escaped and went to a nearby farm for help. When they finally got back to the homestead they found the man and his wife dead but the little girl was still alive. Mom said when she was little she remembered the little girl and she had a bad scar on her forehead from where her father had hit her. The man had served in WWI and was never the same when he returned from the service. He felt bad because he couldn't provide for his family. He lost his mind and chose to end it all for all of them. At least this is the story that my mother heard many years ago.

I have been to many different places and have always been drawn to the cemeteries. I really find them interesting and always full of the unknown. I guess I have always had a peaceful feeling when I have been to any cemetery even if it was for the burial of someone that I knew.

Warm, peaceful thoughts......

Signed...... Mrs. Montana Conservative

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