This cemetery is fairly old, and contains the gravesites of many of the folk who founded and built the town I live in. I have no particular interest in spending a lot of time in graveyards, but while I'm there, I do take note of the variety of headstones and monuments. There are many implicit stories to be found, whether it be the tiny headstone set apart from any others, carved simply with the word "Baby," the couple for whom thirty-three years separated them in death, or the couples headstone on which the date of death of the second person remains blank. Recently, I noticed this:
I think about many of the people here in this cemetery, and how so many of them may be long-forgotten. In some cases, their names have been softened and blurred by time and the elements, until even the stone has forgotten them...
I've written of the grand procession of lives that winds its way through time, and how each member of that procession has his or her moment on the stage of life. I've rambled on about how those who came before us set the stage which we eventually take, and how we, in turn, set the same stage for those who come after. I ponder on how we remember those from the past, and how we will be remembered ourselves. The graveyard is the indicator of the answer to both those ponderings.
That is why seeing that someone still remembers Sarah Laird, still feels strongly enough about her, remembers her clearly enough, to decorate her resting site, both surprises me, and fills me with a bit of joy, a gleam of hope. For a couple of years now, I have worked against my natural inclination to live in the past, and to start living in the present and look towards the future. I cannot, however, fail to feel more than a bit of affinity for this person who decorates the grave of one so long away. This is important; this was a person, once a living, laughing, loving human being, with hopes and aspirations and achievements, and, maybe, some sorrows, who loomed large in the heart of someone, almost certainly many someones. Now, one of those someones pushes back the great night of oblivion to remind us all, in some small way, that those who came before us do matter, that in some way they do live on, if only we choose to remember them.