Didn't get a chance to post since Friday. Was with my parents all weekend. Managed to post on Friday from a local library, but that opportunity did not present itself on Saturday or Sunday.
On Saturday, my father wanted to deliver some apples and squash to his sister a half hour away. I drove us and them to her. From there, he wanted to deliver some wreaths to some family graves.
One of those graves was my brother's. He died of cancer when I was not quite six years old. I do not visit his grave nearly often enough. I don't really feel guilty or undeserving of having had a life while he did not. It still makes me a little sad that he did not have a chance to grow up, become an accountant as he had expressed a desire to, date the girl he had been interested in, or have a chance to enjoy the experiences I have had (not that I have had THAT many, that is).
I found out this weekend that his tombstone is pointed the wrong way. That the side with his name on it is pointing away from him, if I am making any sense. How could the gravedigger have made that mistake, all those years ago? It seems like a pretty fundamental thing to do, digging a grave such that the head is facing the name of the deceased. I guess anyone can make any mistake.
I still remember when he died. Unable to understand the enormity of what happened, I discussed it in my Grade Primary Show and Tell class. The look of shock on my teacher's face is something I have never forgotten, and never will.
Anyway, from Ernie's grave, we went to another local community and another cemetary, where my mother's parents are buried. We lashed a wreath to their tombstone, and then Dad regaled me with tales of some of the other people buried in that small graveyard. One cross, one wooden cross, simply states "4 baby girls". Dad told me that those little girls were murdered by their mother's father (maternal grandfather, in other words) because girls were not wanted in that family. He pointed out the house where this apparently happened, and stated that the spirits of these little girls still haunt that house.
I would have a hard time believing that last part. The part about the girls being murdered because they were girls, while deeply upsetting, doesn't surprise me that much. In that backward little town, which is even more backward today if you can believe it, boys were more favoured in a community because of the perception that they could work harder than girls.
The mother of these girls is buried a short distance away. The man who murdered the girls, allegedly, is buried a short distance away from the wife, whom he allegedly murdered, too, because he wanted to be with another woman. I wandered over to his grave. His second wife is with him in death. The tombstone describes him as a "loving husband and father".
This man, this alleged multi murderer, is a guy that my father knew, and once worked with. He apparently gave no indication of his ways. Dad liked him. This was before he found out what may have happened.
I didn't want to stay there any more. The stories were starting to disturb me, the gray skies matched the mood, and I wanted to go home.