We live in an area brimming with my own family's history. My People, so to speak, have been here over a hundred years. Both sides. Every so often my mom will take me driving through the surrounding rural areas telling stories about her own childhood, as well as the people and places of her, and therefore, my, past.
Because I didn't grow up here I figure she's making up for lost time. The more I learn about where I came from, the more I feel bound to these people, these places. I've said before that sometimes I feel like the rogue descendant of these duty-bound, stalwart people, but as I get older, I feel that maybe I'm not so different from them. I come from a line of feisty women. In that, we are the same, for better or for worse.
There's a cemetery outside of town filled with people I love and people I'm connected to but never met. I laugh whenever my mom tells the story about visiting her father's grave when she was troubled, talking to him because she felt close to him there, only to have her SIL reply, jokingly, "Ann, I hate to tell you, but he's not there." It's true, but there's something in the quiet of a cemetery that allows for that feeling of closeness.
There's a special little grave we visit every March 20th. Three years ago, my older brother and his wife, in Connecticut, had a baby boy who passed away hours after he was born. They chose to bury him in this little cemetery near us, in Idaho.
This year was no different. It was cold, rainy and snowy, but nonetheless, we sang a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" to Baby Toby. I wonder if other families do similar things?
After our visit with Toby, we walked over to our own burial plots. Last fall we bought four. Morbid, I know. Have you ever thought about where you want to be buried? It's unusual, and ironically common, seeing as none of us can avoid it. Funny.
I am comforted knowing that death is not the end. God has a grander purpose. He is our Father, we are his children. God's way is all about loving family relationships. He's provided a way, through Jesus Christ, for us to live again with those we love. Would it be heaven otherwise? I don't think so.