May 11, 2009

Mother's Day at the Cemetery

Mrs. Sneed and I visited Southlawn Cemetery yesterday. The cemetery is on the southside of town and caters these days to the heavily Hispanic population of the area. Southlawn belongs to Dignity Memorial, the nation's largest funeral provider. Mrs. Sneed and I were both struck by the apparent lack of care the cemetery receives. It stands in stark contrast to Eastlawn, another of their cemeteries, located just up the street from our home. This picture of the cemetery sign was taken from the car, because we really could stop due traffic. These are the gravesites of Mrs. Sneed's parents. As you can see, there is no grass in this area. The sprinkler is not working and no one seems to have noticed. A view of a nicer section of the cemetery. In the Mexican tradition, mother is the glue that holds the family together. She is the undisputed queen of the her little world. Mother's Day at the cemetery is a time to gather the family and spend the day. When it is 100 outside, a tent is a good idea. Sometimes even two tents. This was a group of about ten men. They had the good sense to bury Mom under a tree. This isn't Nyack where people readily pose for pictures, so I had to take this shot on the sly. The cemetery folks allowed a taqueria to set up in the cemetery to serve those spending the day. The southside is loaded with mobile food vendors. This is my mother's plaque on the wall of the area where cremains can be spread. I'm not sure why my old man chose Southlawn as the final resting place for Mom's ashes, but he did. Maybe this was the only cemetery where it is allowed. Nothing say dignity like a row of outhouses, but at least the cemetery guys thought of everything to make people's day as pleasant as possible. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

12 comments:

R.L. Bourges said...

that last shot is a hoot. I guess what they mean is: Dignity through Privacy. There's something to be said about that.

I love the Latin American attitude to death and cemeteries; the fact they're considered a gathering place to share good things with the dead, not just the sobs and regrets.

But the neglect on the site is not cool. Maybe if they switched over to growing things more suited to the climate?

Bella Rum said...

Dignity Memorial, huh? Somebody stayed up all night thinking up that one. Like race horses - I love the names of race horses. And Miracle-Gro! Could there be a more descriptive name than Miracle-Gro?

Squirrel said...

Well, we have a very well maintained cemetery here... if fact it's the oldest commercial business in Nyack, and located on the best hill with fabulous river views.

Victorian thinking ~ people took the afternoon to visit the dead in this beautiful spot. "Sylvan" was the descriptor for cemeteries and they were grand places. They brought a picnic with them and sat and shared nice family stories. This practice died out when nice family stories got harder to come by.

Kurt said...

Different customs make me uncomfortable.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I just don't see myself picnicing with dear old dead Mom. Queen or no queen of the household. Mind you, maybe that will change when she actually is dead. I somehow doubt it though.

Megan said...

I wonder if the cemetaries here are on water-rationing?

I bet Forest Lawn isn't...can't have those famous people graves looking bad...

Steve said...

I think RL Bourges is on target about the landscaping. Maybe the mistake is trying to grow grass there in the first place. I wonder if they could switch to some kind of ground-cover plant, or even pebbles? Would that be crazy?

Nan Patience said...

I stop traffic all the time.

Verily I go. said...

Different strokes. Ashes to ashes. Some of us dust, some of us diamonds. All back in the dirt.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is a beautiful Mother's Day post, Merle. Thank you.

Annie Ha said...

I went to the cemetery on Mother's Day. Always a bit sad. Definitely the most crowded day of the year. Also, the price of flowers in the flower shop go up by 300%

mouse (aka kimy) said...

hugs....