Sunday, August 17, 2014

Grove is Coming Up

When I was a kid we would often visit the cemetery.  The cemetery near my house was very pretty and had a pond where we would ride our bikes and feed the ducks.  We would bring paper and crayons and do rubbings and  then we would go across the street to Babb Run park and get into all sorts of trouble.  We would swing on vines and climb on rocks in the water all by ourselves.  Today you would probably go to jail if you let your kids run around like we did, but this story is not about that cemetery. 

In Lorain there are two cemeteries across the street from each other.  I am not sure, but I think one is for Catholics and one is for everybody else.  Almost everyone from my family who has passed is buried in one of these two cemeteries.  When I was a kid if we were out for a drive on that side of town we would cruise through and say hi to all the relatives.  I hadn't met most of them, but a visit would mean I would get a story about them.  My mom's family was all Catholic so they were buried on one side of the street.  My paternal grandmother's family was Catholic so they were all over there with them.  My paternal grandfather was not Catholic.  Not a big deal in today's world, but such a big deal then that my grandparents had to elope.  This also meant they were buried on the other side of the street.  Where they were going to be buried was a REALLY big deal to my grandmother.  My grandfather bought their plots for their 40th wedding anniversary.  (On the 41st anniversary he told my grandmother he wasn't getting her a present because she didn't use what he got her the previous year.)  The plots were carefully chosen so they would be up on a slight hill (or at least a hill by Northeast Ohio standards).  The plan was for them to be buried so they could each look at their parents and other family members during their eternal rest.  Grandma would have to look a little further, but since she had the cataract surgery she would be able to see them.    

 I think Grandpa could have cared less about where he was buried.  He always said he wished he was Jewish.  He wanted to be in the ground within 24 hours and not be embalmed.  He didn't want the ceremony and the wake.  He was in poor health for many years so I think he had come to terms with his mortality.  But sometimes things don't happen the way that you want.  My grandfather died a few hours after arriving at our house in Tennessee.  Being 3 states away from your final resting place causes some logistical issues.  You can't cross state lines unless you are embalmed and being that far away meant the 24 hours was out of the question as well.  We finally got him to Ohio and because things weren't going as planned anyway we went ahead and had the funeral ceremony.  At the cemetery Grandma kept saying this is the wrong grave and everybody just thought she suffering from grief, but she wouldn't let it go.  She would have someone take her to the cemetery and would say I know this is the wrong grave.  She finally found the paperwork and a few phone calls later found out that the cemetery had double sold the plots to my grandparents and to Mr. and Mrs. Grove.  When the error was discovered she announced victoriously "GROVE IS COMING UP!!!" and the scary thing is she was serious.  She paid for those carefully selected plots and by god she was going to have them.  After much negotiation and reasoning my dad and uncle were able to convince her to take the settlement and let poor Mr. Grove rest in peace.   

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