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Archive for January 16th, 2011

When I visited my family at the holidays, I paid a visit to two cemeteries as well. First I visited my grandparents’ grave marker. Driving up from there to my mother’s house, I realized that we were going to be earlier than they were expecting us. We were passing nearby a cemetery that I know my grandparents’ friend Pauline was buried in.

I have to admit that we were not necessarily kind in our thoughts towards Pauline during her life. I realize now that I am older that my grandmother complained about her the way she criticized the annoying habits of her relatives and oldest friends, with a lot of affection buried underneath. Pauline and my grandmother were friends for a lifetime. My grandfather and her husband Henry were the youngest members of the hunting camp where we took vacations at least once a year. What I remember about Pauline from being a small child was her very loud voice – I can still hear it now if I close my eyes.

Pauline died in 2003. My grandmother told me that Pauline had asked for everything associated with her funeral to be pink, and so she was buried in a pink dress in a pink-lined coffin covered in pink flowers under a pink stone. I didn’t know Pauline loved pink – I can’t particularly remember her wearing it. But that detail of the pink stone was what made me think I could locate it. Pink granite is a more common stone choice, but it’s still not so ubiquitous that looking for a pink stone with her last name would be impossible. I drove up and down the rows of St. John’s Cemetery at Peace Church while Mike looked for the surname Miller on a pink stone.

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I’m not posting the whole stone here right now because it also contains the names of her husband and son, who are at the time of this writing still alive and doing well. Despite having photographed the whole thing, I somehow don’t want to post that photo as if they already rest in the cemetery.

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I didn’t have anything to leave, but I was glad that someone had been by to visit and leave flowers. I righted one of the pots that had been knocked over, said a few words to Pauline, and we headed for Christmas dinner. I don’t know what compelled me to do it, but I am glad I did.

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