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standing guard

this morning we gathered at the cemetery to lay my cousin to rest. he passed a few months ago far away from "home", and it had been years since any of us had seen him - but we gathered few in number as more and more of our family "rests".

after the service we were standing by the road chatting. this statue was standing life sized, towering from a pedestal, next to me. i had noticed her on my way in, but did not stop at the time.

one of my other hobbies and fascinations is uncovering my history - my genealogy. call it strange, but i enjoy walking in the cemetery - digging for my own roots, and noticing the other lives lived. this cemetery today has many of my ancestors resting in it - years ago my sister and i were there walking row by row looking for our great-grandmother's stone. to this day - she has still eluded me. everything i have been told, all documents, etc tell me she is there. my uncle - who passed a couple years ago and who we laid my cousin next to today - always told me his plot was "next to" his grandmother's. sigh. again today i looked - resisting the urge to spend the afternoon combing the cemetery and collecting more data points - lol, maybe if i had on different shoes. but, again - she eluded me. one day -- i'll go back, and maybe she will make herself known to me.

on the ride to the service this morning, my husband asked me how this limb of my family tree ended up in this cemetery -- they lived, and were founders of an area a bit further away with it's own cemetery -- but they some how ended up here. honestly - i'm not sure just yet.

i was thinking about all of this as i stood talking with family. and just over my shoulder this statue stood. tired from years of weathering and standing guard. discolored from the elements, her edges not as crisp as the day she started her watch. the date at her feet says she has been tirelessly guarding since 1908. some - not so quick - math told me she has been standing in that spot near the entrance to the cemetery, next to a small country road - watching the comings and goings, the grieving, the searchers for 114 years. she stood taller then me, and the symbols in the artwork/sculpture made me wonder her story - and the story of the woman who passed that she stood above.

i'm always drawn to interesting art and sculpture - and she was no different. i may not know exactly where my great-grandmother is resting - but she does! she stood there the day my grandmother, her father, and her younger siblings laid alice to rest 11 years later. she stood there today as we laid one of alice's great-grandson's to rest.

on my return one day - she will continue to silently hold the secrets of so many. imagine the weight on her. if only she would give me a hint to where is alice ;)

thanks for reading!

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