Monday, July 12, 2010

A Grave Decision

So, my mother is deceased. She has been in this state for about 15 years now. To make this part short, she made some bad decisions early on in her life, smoking and drugs. But, she was a good mother. No, I take that back, she was a GREAT mother.  She always put her children first. Was always the first in line to volunteer for things at school. Our house always had one of my friends over on the weekend. There were problems but, what family doesn't have problems? She never let her decision influence how she treated my brother, sisters, and I. When she passed there came the time to decide where she was to buried. At the time my family owned a farm 13 acres or more. My dad had started to build a cabin up on one of the hills. From this spot you could overlook the entire Burton Hill. My father brought myself and Frances up to this spot and asked if we thought it was the right place to bury our mother. “She can look over us” he said. We were 13 and 7 at the time. I don’t really think if we had said no that it would have mattered. Looking back on it now, I think he was just showing us his decision. She was his wife of almost 12 years. So there she stayed. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are days I feel a void in my life without her. But I have a great family. My grandparents who took us into their home and raised us like their own. My grandfather Don who helped my father through the first few months after her death. My Aunt Jeannie who was a constant in our lives, a loving, caring, support. My Aunt Peggy and Uncle Galen who seemed to make it in to visit at every opportunity. This list can go on and on. Really. My Grandmother Juanita, she could only have contact three day out of the month with us. She still found time to sneak to some of my football games and showered us with love and support. She never once complained when I told her I had to move in with her in a matter of hours. She let me come in with open arms. Then there is my Uncle Trent. One of the biggest supporters during this time. He made sure the house had food for everyone. During the winter when we would be snowed in he was the one along with my grandfather that bought the food. Brought it to us, sometime having to walk up the hill. Theses things are not forgotten, they’re important.

I’ve said all this to get to one very important point. My grandparents sold their farm. There are no longer any Burton’s on Burton Hill. I know it was a rough decision, I’m not saying it was wrong. It was just hard I’m sure. But now, my grandfather was the one who took care of her grave for so long. Kept the grass mowed, the weeds down, just basic maintenance. But her grave is so far up this hill that you really can’t go up there by any other means except to walk. I don’t know theses people that have moved in.  My grandmother, my mother’s mother. has always tried to make it up there to decorate her grave. She spends weeks making arrangements to put on it and would always be so proud of what she made. She’s afraid to go up to this place. She’s doesn’t know the people that have moved in, they don’t know her. She wants to move my mother’s grave down from the hill and buy a plot in a grave yard. l_23d77bb89711418e82a8b26cb796e39b She’s done all the research and estimates required. But the final decision lays with my father. He says no. Everyone then looks to me. I don’t have a decision on this. I don’t like going to grave yards. I never liked going to her grave either. I get that from her. She was the same way. “The dead is gone. They can’t harm you or love you from there.” She was blunt like that. Personally I think my father is being pig headed about it. But I’m scared of my father I always have been. He’s loud and forceful. That’s all I’m going to say on that. My younger sister Frances wants my mother’s grave moved as well. But she does tend to follow the crowd. I don’t know what my other siblings thoughts are on that. I just think, the people that have taken the time to go there, decorate clean it and love what is left there, should be the ones to decide. Not me… Not me… I was told that you don’t dig up Indians, its not right. Here is my view on that. Yes my grandmother Juanita is Indian and had traced her heritage back to prove such. She is now a registered Cherokee. My mother however, never declared herself an Indian. She didn't’ see herself as such and well with her blue eyes she couldn’t pass for one. I think about what my mother would have wanted and here is what I’ve come up with.



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