Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Friend Flickr!

In a previous post, I referred to a Flickr site that our family has organized to preserve images and scans of documents from our family history.

And now that the last of the "parent generation" of my mother's family is gone, we are reaping the benefits for having been proactive with this legacy.

In April, our cousin will be up to bury his dad's remains, same as we did for our mom, his sister. Turns out that now the 6 remaining cousins of the next generation are the keepers of this family cemetery plot, and the torch has officially been passed. My two sisters and I are the only ones living in the area anymore, so my guess is that we'll be most involved in maintenance and upkeep. We now know how many burials we can have per grave (1) and how many cremation urns per grave (4). It's a Michigan statute. We know that spouses who are "marry-ins" need our permission to be buried here and that there are a few options, from the basic in the ground to the mausoleum in a crypt and other more expensive choices. We are also reminded of our younger brother (10 years behind me), who lies in a crypt with other infants who didn't make it all the way through childbirth.

Gerard, our only brother, was one of those miscarriages that would have survived today, but couldn't benefit from the technology we have now. He was stillborn, baptized and buried alone, as we weren't invited to take part in the ceremony back then. I was 10, and the sisters must have been 11 and 7. We were spared the impact of the sadness of that occasion, by our mother and dad, who were overwhelmed by the event itself. Too much.

I never thought much about him, until we buried our mother 9 years ago, and we found him in the main building's burial area. Since we never saw him, I wonder often how he would have looked, or acted, or grown into manhood. I know God has a better plan than mine, and I know he probably won't ever let me know what the big picture is...He knows I would blog it and blow the big surprise.

But a unique sadness does catch up with me every so often, and I start the wondering.

I guess we'll wonder again in April when Uncle Tom comes home to take his spot...in an urn, leaving room for his wife and 2 others. At a recent "apres tennis" breakfast meeting, my sisters and I went going over the details. "well, we can all fit in if we're all cremated, but if we die earlier, we may wish to be buried, or cremated or scattered in the desert, the ocean, Las Vegas or back in Ireland."

That's a stark logistic that we'll never need to worry about, because we won't be here.

At least the kids will have the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. You are right - at least you have the pictures. Your family will benefit from the organization of your family photos on Flickr.