Good morning to everyone...well, here it is...the last day of the weekend already.
The sun is shining outside and it promises to be a good day. AMEN! Today's blog is about Peace in a Cemetery. Not for the patrons of the cemetery, but for those who visit.
Yesterday, I spent hours at the cemetery, not really visiting any particular person. but instead to take pictures. My dearest friend was over and she is a new photographer. I wanted to have a project done that involves photographs. She is amazing at taking pictures, even at this early stage. So yesterday, since I wanted some pictures of angels and perhaps some of soldiers, we went to the cemetery near my home. We drove up and down this very old cemetery and were on the lookout for the perfect statues. Well, I must say, there were plenty to choose from. As I drove up and down the winding curves in the road at about 1 MPH, I really started to notice the names and some of the dates on the gravestones. This was a predominantly Polish/Slavic background cemetery. We stopped at George Hallis' mausoleum where the door donned blue and orange ribbons that were tied on the door. For the first time in 50 plus years of visiting this cemetery, I noticed the magnificent stained glass windows inside the mausoleums. Each one was more beautiful than the next. I then began to notice the doors of the mausoleums as well. Each one had something just a little different about them. They all were made of metal, but the designs and the cutouts were different. Some had the patina look, where others had a rusted feel. Then I began too nice all the different types of designs in them. There were stars and florals, there were some linear designs as well. It was amazing to begin to see the artwork in a Cemetery. Each statues features and the character that they had. Some of the statues were worn with age and yet, event though they were worn created so much more character to the piece. As April got out of the car I watched and looked around. I would hear the sound of silence. What an oxymoron statement is that! Well I did. It was still and calm and peaceful. the loudest noise I could hear came from the sound of the robins...which were by the way....EVERYWHERE. All I could think was YEA..signs of spring and the earth was coming alive...which by the way was also strange considering where I was.
We discovered the huge monument honoring the branches of the service with ginormous bronze statues of soldiers. So finely detailed that even one of them you had the veins in his hands highlighted. What an awesome experience...then onward to an old cemetery in Park Ridge. I wanted not go there because in the past, I had noticed some headstones of civil war soldiers and wanted to check it out a little more. Well, as we drove down the row, April and I were both enthralled with the stones and some of the most endearing sayings on them. Then we came to a huge stone monument of a Civil Was soldier honoring those lost in the battle. What an unusual place to find it. I don't necessarily equate Park Ridge with the civil war, but they surely honored the men that fought. There were more statues of angels to be found there as well as the remains of them. So many children were there. One in particular stood out. It was the grave site of a young man named Hank. His grave was all decked out with wooden baseballs, footballs, bears, baseball bats holding a wired bin of baseballs. It was decorated with shamrocks everywhere and upon the cement bench there was a bottle of Green River soda. This grave indeed told his story of what his life meant and was about. Just below the area was a grave of a twelve year old girl with angels all around. We continued our journey finding more statues for the pictures which was our goal, yet we both couldn't stop and give honor to those lying beneath them. As well were in the second cemetery, I noticed the change of names. Here the names were predominately German. By the time we had finished, a number of hours had gone by and it was now, too late to drive over to another, so we began our drive home. We both left with such a calmed and peaceful attitude. We had found so much more in those cemeteries than what we initially started out to find. There was such a sense of tranquility and peace there. For me, a sense of usefulness having seen the headstones. I felt as though for some, they had a visitor. As I read or spoke their names out loud...it seemed as though it acknowledged those souls. April commented that she thought initially what were had set out to do was perhaps a little creepy, but she too felt the peace of the surroundings.
Upon arriving home, she loaded the pictures onto the computer and the results were outstanding! The pictures were breathtaking and for those who will see them when they are finished will never realize where they came from. So much joy will continue to be had from a simple trip to the cemetery. I cannot wait for another trip.