Saturday, 9 January 2016

My mum

My mum is buried next to a man named William. I can't remember his last name, unfortunately. I remember her telling me that she would be 'neighbours' with a black guy from America. What I didn't know is why she chose that spot.
Devenish cemetery is a small country town cemetery. It's laid out like any other. All the graves grouped together, kind of in rows. However, about 30 metres beyond the last row, across the dirt, right up against the back fence, on its own, is the grave of William. An 'American Negro' according to his gravestone.
William died in 1918 and because he was black, he wasn't allowed to be buried with the whites. That he was buried there at all shows, apparently, that he was respected. Maybe he worked for a rich local family, I'm not sure.
When mum visited the cemetery to choose her plot she saw William's grave and asked why he was out there on his own. When she heard the story of him not being allowed to be buried with the others in the cemetery, she thought that wasn't fair, and wasn't good enough. She chose to be buried next to him so he was no longer on his own.
Now there are two graves beyond all the others, across the dirt, right up against the back fence.
In a way this is mum's final act and I think it's a beautiful and amazing way to sum her up

9 comments:

  1. Sorry for your loss. She had an empathetic heart.

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  2. That is a great post and lovely tribute to your mum.

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  3. That is a great post and lovely tribute to your mum.

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  4. An act of thoughtfulness that took someone nearly 100 years to do. Your Mum was a special lady.

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  5. An act of thoughtfulness that took someone nearly 100 years to do. Your Mum was a special lady.

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  6. What a beautiful story! Your Mum was clearly a thoughtful and kind woman. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. That would make me so proud.

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  8. This is a beautiful story and a touching account/remembrance of your mum. Thank you for telling about her.

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