Thursday, August 07, 2008

11X365 Guy At Welsh Cemetery


For some reason every time I think of my grandmother’s grave, I think of you. And when I think of you, I picture Simon Pegg.  Except I think you were much older, taller and darker than Simon Pegg.  In fact, you probably didn’t look like Simon Pegg at all.

Anyway, it was January of 2007. After years of estrangement, I’d finally plucked up the courage to go see my mother, who was living near Manchester at the time. She wanted to go to Wales to visit the little mining village where Grandma was raised. It was a long drive from the Yorkshire Dales to the Rhondda Valleys (we took side routes, making it even longer and more twisty, but also more beautiful). We found a couple of modest rooms at the local pub (con: ancient, bowed mattresses. pro: cold beer on tap just down the stairs).

The next day, we set out to find my great-grandparents' graves, over which Mom had sprinkled Grandma's ashes. Now, it turns out that a Welsh hillside in the middle of January is just as miserable as anywhere else. And I had seriously underestimated winter in the UK. But my mom is not one to be deterred by, oh, hurricane force winds. Unfortunately, she also had no idea where the graves were. So we walked around and around hundreds and hundreds of them, squinting through the sleet, trying to find three 60+ year-old tombstones. Needle in the ol' haystack to be sure.

Finally we stopped in at the cemetery office to ask. I seem to remember it was housed in an ancient stone building. A former church? We must have looked like crazy people, drenched and shivering. But you were so efficient, professional and lovely, offering us maps detailing the exact location of our dead relatives. You even gave me the copy that I have to this day.

Now when I think of you, Welsh Cemetery Man, I think of cozy havens from the rain (and Simon Pegg). My descendents thank you. We shall never lose Grandma again.

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3 comments:

Anonymous Mari ~ 10:58 AM

Very nice entry. I can't wait to get there...Sonja and you have both been and I think next, it is my turn.  


Anonymous James ~ 12:02 PM

He plays Scotty in the new Star Trek movie out next year.

Speaking of Scotty and ash-scattering, James Doohan's ash dispersing rocket blew up before making it to space this week.  


Anonymous Anonymous ~ 2:05 PM

James: I can't wait to see the new Star Trek. Especially if Simon Pegg's in it. I love when they re-imagine institutions. Like BSG.

Mari: If you are going to go, we should have a plaque made for Grandma. Just something to mark where she is.

--working  


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