My mom and I headed out today for an annual tradition of placing wreaths and evergreen swags on the graves of my dad, both sets of my grandparents and great grandparents as well as a great aunt. My mom and I only went to my dad’s grave last year due to the violence that plagued Baltimore City. My mom was bothered we did not go but understood my reasoning for canceling last year. My dad is buried in Easton where my mom lived for almost twenty years.
Today we met at my dad’s grave and placed an evergreen swag on it. After we dropped my mom’s car off at a local parking lot we headed to Baltimore to go first to Baltimore Cemetery. You go through some imposing gates and castle like structure to enter the cemetery. My maternal grandparents and great grandparents are located near the rear of the cemetery. You must drive up and down many hills to get to their location. There are many graves adorned with angel statues as well as obelisks and many graves written in German as Baltimore had a large immigrant German population in the late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s. The last two photos I posted are from Baltimore Cemetery. The road leading to the cemetery split the city in half north south. My mom always has me stop at the gates as we leave to view the city from this vantage point. It is one of her favorite views. The city has changed a lot since she was a child who grew up not far from the cemetery. Today we were accompanied by about sixty crows who followed us back to my grandparents graves before six of them dive bombed us when we were at the graves. After we took in the view of the city from the high vantage point we headed back through the harbor tunnel thruway to Loudon Park Cemetery.
Loudon Park is 350 acres. The cemetery opened in 1853. My paternal grandparents and great grandparents are buried near the front of the cemetery and fairly easy to locate. Another relative had already visited leaving a wreath onto grandparents grave. Mom and I added our evergreen swag to it and then headed back to the car to drive far back in the cemetery to my great aunt’s grave. She is buried back near the veterans section of the cemetery. As we drove back we passed by many older graves dating from the civil war onwards-the Baltimore City Sun Boys monument always makes me sad. When I was a child my dad always pointed it out as we drove by. There are many private mausoleums in the cemetery and I know the people are dead and not coming back but those mausoleums creep me out. We drove through the winding roads trying to get back to my great aunt’s grave but we found the usual road blocked off so we tried finding another way back to her grave. This side track brought us to sections of the cemetery I have never seen before. We drove past a large section of Confederate soldiers then a large section of Union soldiers. There were so many tall monuments it was hard to take it all in. We tried to get to my Aunt Grace’s grave but all roads where blocked. I think it was due to all the rains we received this year. The one bridge was washed out and a couple of the roads were washed away. It made me a little sad to not get to her grave. But it was a fun and eerie time venturing through the grave sites. The first photo is of the tallest monument in the cemetery. It is three stories tall. It is the Weissner Monument. The second photo is of the original mausoleum where my mom though they kept the bodies over the winter waiting for the ground to thaw back in the days when they dug the graves with no equipment. The third photo is a close up of the first photo. Michael though it was creepy with all the statutes. I hadn’t noticed until he pointed it out.
I enjoy this time every year with my mom. We talk about a lot during the day. I am the only one besides my mom who knows where both sets of my grandparents are buried. Besides my mom I am the only one who puts anything on my dad’s grave every year. I usually put flowers there on his birthday. Sometimes they get stolen but oddly no one ever steals the liquor I leave at his grave.
I enjoy this tradition with my mom though most of my friends find it odd. It is not a sad day for me but rather one of remembrance. My mom tells me stories about my dad, both sets of grandparents and some of my great grandparents. I was very young when my grandfathers died so I really only have the stories people tell me and a few photos. I wish as always that my dad could have met Michael and to see how my life has turned out. He would love Michael.