My Grandpa Raines always took care to place flags on grave sites of his veteran ancestors … my mom would handle flowers for the rest. Grandpa’s people are buried in Boucher Cemetery in Murphysboro, Illinois … his mom, grandparents and many of his siblings. He would always visit on Memorial Day weekend … this small ritual meant so much to him. He didn’t want them to ever be forgotten, no matter how long they have been gone from this Earth. Shortly before he passed, he made my mom promise to carry on the tradition. Someday, she’ll do the same with me, I suspect.
I used to accompany Grandpa on his treks to Boucher Cemetery to visit Grandpa Douglas and the others. He would walk the cemetery telling stories about the people buried there … he knew most of them whether relatives or not. I was fascinated with his stories … with how many memories a person collects over a lifetime. I didn’t, however, understand at that point in my life how important those visits really were for him.
Now that he and my grandma and my daddy are gone, those visits have become more important and more emotional. They are buried in Pleasant Grove Memorial Park, Murphysboro, Illinois along with Grandma’s parents and other family members. Someday, I, along with my husband, mom, aunt, and uncle will join them … not for a very long time, I hope.
Mom and I made one of those visits today. It was a very windy day … not at all good for creating flower arrangements to place on headstones! I felt a little like Dorothy Gale as the tornado approached before she was whisked off to Oz.
Regardless, I took the opportunity to document the headstones of Grandma’s parents and other family.
We put new flowers on Grandma and Grandpa’s grave. She loved red roses … she loved everything red, actually!
Ida Dora (Mueller) Schuster is Grandma’s mother. Ida’s great grandfather, Jacob, emigrated from Germany in 1823 with the brother of his future wife! The Mueller family also settled in St. Clair County, Illinois.
Louis Schuster is Grandma’s 2nd youngest brother, the 6th of seven children from George and Ida. I remember Uncle Louis, although I wasn’t around him much.
All of the Schuster graves, save Grandma’s are nestled underneath a 50-foot pine tree all in a neat row. A part of me is glad they are all there together even though I know they are all off on some afterlife adventure (I hope). Grandma and Grandpa are about 50 feet to the west of the Schuster family, along with Daddy. The three of them together makes it much easier to have a family meeting.