last friday, we all took off work and loaded in the car. mom, dad, maw, and paw in one car. me, chris, ben, chels, and zach in another. we were on a mission to find the graves of pawpaw's siblings. my grandfather is the middle child of three boys. before he was born his mother gave birth to another boy and a girl that died in infancy. they were buried in a graveyard in east texas. his family moved around all over texas when he was a child, so all he had to go by to find the graves was his memory. good thing he has the best memory of any eighty-six year old i have ever known. let's be honest, his memory is better than mine.
he saved a piece of paper on which his mother wrote the names and birth dates of his infant siblings. on this paper she had also sketched a needlepoint design. seeing her handwriting makes me wish i knew more about her.
during one stop, we found the grave of my great-great-grandparents, addie and aj martin. my pawpaw remembers riding to his grandmothers funeral in a covered wagon. he was eleven years old.
a road trip to visit cemeteries is not the most exciting trip for a little boy, but ben managed to stay entertained by picking up pine cones, climbing dirt hills, and learning to go to the bathroom outside.
we finally found what we came for, the graves of pawpaw's siblings. what is most remarkable about this discovery is that there are no formal head stones. in the 1920's my great-grandparents likely couldn't afford them. all pawpaw remembered was that the graves were side by side, near the creek and marked by large rocks.
it was an incredible experience that will likely not happen again. and if i think about that too much, it makes me very, very sad. i am so glad my little family was able to tag along.