Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As The Family Grows :: Forest Cemetery

An Unconventional Field Trip
An unconventional history lesson
Answering the question...
Where did I come from?
Family Genealogy.
This particular outing was orchestrated
by my brother, Tim.
He wanted to take Mom to what's known as
The Old North End...
the area our mom grew up in...
an area that is now known for its
high crime rate.
This cemetery has seen some
unfortunate vandalism...
but as we walked the grounds on a crisp
November day...
I can attest to the fact that it has
retained its quiet beauty.
Many family members were buried
here at Forest Cemetery.
Armed with a map provided by Tim
and mom's crystal clear memory...
we went in search of
our family plots.
Marie Brockmann...
our Great Grandmother.

Surrounded by family...

remembered through stories told by mom.

As we travelled...

we couldn't help but stop

and appreciate the beautiful


Even though it was damaged...

this angel still caused us to pause

and appreciate

the beauty

that could not be

taken away.

We made rubbings of

those markers

that brought

us here.

Steven Paul Thompson.

An older brother I

never met.

But who I know through the

many stories passed down through

the years.

I know that we will meet someday.

Now that is something

to look forward to.

Our Grandparents.

We never met our grandfather

but Dorathea...

was the best grandma ever.


I'm sure my boys would challenge that

since they claim to have the best.

My memories are pure

and simple

and so very precious.

She still visits me from time to time

in my dream world.

Maybe tonight I will be so fortunate.

Whether we knew the person

or not...

we often found ourselves

caught in thought

and prayer.

Caught in moments of joy in remembering

or contemplating the times

in which they lived...

reading names and dates and


the who...the what...

the when.

The unexpected emotion

of happiness.

To have gone on this adventure


as family.

Discovering moments

from a shared history...

and from the history we have learned.

This marker caught our attention...

as did the many that

surrounded it.

Finding stone steps

that led to the


This one in particular

captured our imagination.
If you look closely
you will see
the small peek hole
which begged to be looked through.
What would you expect to see?
A hole that looked
through to another hole in the
stone seal beyond?
Then you would be correct.
Who put that hole there?
Was it made by the vandals
or by the family it now housed?
A good start to a compelling
novel for the very
Of course my boys had to
include gym class
in their day...
rock climbing.
The best kind...
with no safety harnesses to
make mom feel
better about the height.
The sparse landscape...
the bare trees of November...
the low hung clouds of Fall...
the cool breeze that
told of the coming snows.
The quiet and cold beauty
of a cemetery.
With a single purple flower
found by Susie.
A flower that must have
forgotten the season.
A simple reminder that even in the snows of Winter...
we will all bloom
in glory.


  1. You have said, so eloquently, what I felt. Thanks Jen for helping to release the tears and emotions welling up in me since stepping into that sacred space. It was an honor to be there, surrounded by my family -both those here on Earth, and those who have walked this land before me. x

  2. Yep, we're Germans. We take photos of tombstones at cemeteries. Sometimes, we even take photos of dead people in their caskets to mail to our family in the old country. ha ha! Cool photos, though. Those angels are amazing! love ya!