I chose the following pictures from my annual Memorial Day trip with my mother to visit the grave sites of our family. Over the years, the trip has taken on a much slower pace with mom often sitting in the car while I walk to the markers of family members to place flowers and take pictures. I leave Louisiana and head to Muncie, Indiana, where I grew up and we visit cemeteries there to decorate my dad's grave, my step-father's grave, my Dad's parents grave site, and the sites where her two sisters are buried. The Friday before Memorial Day, mom and I load the car and head south to Tennessee where she grew up and many of her ancestors and family members are buried. We visit several cemeteries there. The two pictures I chose are from that trip. The first one was taken at the cemetery where her parents, four of her adult siblings and two siblings that died early, one at a young age from illness, the other at childbirth along with my grandmother are all buried.
I swallowed hard as I took a series of pictures of mom walking the row where most of her family members are buried as she is the last remaining member of her generation. I wondered what she was thinking and how hard it must be to be the one left behind.
This picture has meaning to me as the woman pictured with my mother, the widow of one of my cousins, had a really bad stroke a couple of years ago and suffered serious damage as a result. She and mom were close years ago and always liked to visit when they got together later on. Rae always recognizes mom and finds a way to communicate, by nodding or pointing until we are able to determine what she is trying to tell us. Rae's son brought her to the cemetery on Sunday, but this picture was taken when we visited Rae at the nursing home on Monday. She had us take her outside where she and mom carried on a long "conversation".
This trip means a lot to me but I'm not sure whether we'll be able to make it again. It's hard for mom and very tiring but she manages well despite the infirmities of her age and likes visiting the family still in the area.
Labels: Friday Photo, Photography