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Re: [TexasCzechs] RE cemeteries

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  • Susan Rektorik Henley
    ... Hi Pat, It is interesting that you made that comment, that is the same thing my own sister, Pat, tells me about cemeteries. And, I agree it is just that I
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 2003
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      >I am much more pragmatic about cemeteries because I believe it is only the decaying shell resting there and the living spirit is with God and with us.  But as a gesture of respect and remembrance, I do try to keep up the plots of my Urban grandparents and my dad.<
       
      Hi Pat,
       
      It is interesting that you made that comment, that is the same thing my own sister, Pat, tells me about cemeteries. And, I agree it is just that I am interested in so many things. When I started seeing objects and certain plants in our cemeteries, I became curious as to why they were there. That started a whole new line of learning for me.  At first I was interested in the "old" traditions, now my interest has increased to include the new.
       
      With this message there should be three photo files...I tried to keep them small. The one of the Birthday grave marker is from the Catholic cemetery in Hostyn. The other two are from the City Cemetery in Fayetteville. And, yes, these are Texas Czech markers.
       
      When trying to explain about our folk cemeteries, I cannot state it better than Terry G. Jordan, the author of "Texas Graveyards: A Cultural Legacy":
       
      "The second truth about cemeteries may sound trite or even absurd. Graveyards, I learned, are not primarily for the dead, but for the living. My initial forays into rural cemeteries were clouded by a sense of guilt at disturbing the dead. I felt like an intruder and trespasser in the afterworld where I did not belong, and I hastily snatched the desired surnames before fleeing back to the domain of the living. Only gradually, through observation, did I come to regard the cemetery as a proper place for living people. Graveyards, after all, reflect the customs, beliefs, handicrafts, and social structure of the survivors..."
       
      I believe the graves in the three photos with this message exemplify how some of us still "personalize" our graves.
       
      I am also saddened that so many cemeteries are banning plantings and decorations. Our Robstown cemetery has for decades banned planting and objects such as shells. There is wording to the effect that the community did not want "pagan" symbols in their community cemetery.
       
      A final note about the Christmas grave plot is that the child whom was buried here died in 1918 (I believe) and the plot is still being decorated. And, about the marker with the buck statue, there is a portrait of the the young man with his trophy buck on the marker too.
       
      Susan
       
       
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