Halloween...it's on the horizon. Stores are going all out with candy, costumes and decorations. Kids are practicing their very best, "Trick or Treats" and making costumes ready for the big night. Church's are organizing carnivals in an attempt to keep kids off the street and safe.
My kids participated in Halloween until they were way to old to really get away with Trick or Treating and they loved every minute of it. Frankly, so did I! But now that they are grown, I've started a new tradition in my home. It's loosely based on El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. I spend October "re-membering."
I read somewhere that as long as someone is alive to say your name and remember you, you are not truly dead. Dead here I think would mean forgotten and unknown. When October comes, I get out my Family Tree and as many pictures as I can find of family that has passed on, and I say their names and think about them and the stories I have heard. I'm keeping their memories alive. Each day I try to pick a relative and think about them all day. If all I know is their name, I say it along with their spouses name and kids, their birthdates and deathdates and where they were born and died. Then I try to imagine what their lives must have been like and how they spent their days, their hardships and joys and wonder what they must have looked like.
Another thing I try to do is visit my local cemetery and say the names and dates on headstones, especially in the older forgotten parts where there are no flowers. That's what I did this weekend. This piece was directly off a headstone. I could NOT believe how well the picture held up considering she had passed away in the early 1900's.
They don't make markers and headstones like they did back then. Probably they are too hard to mow around and keep the grounds looking good. There were so many truly beautiful pieces of statuary. Some of them had the mark of Freemasons on them.
This one was so tall, from the back I thought I was actually seeing someone visiting graveside.
An angel "watching over" the final resting place of a child. A very sweet, baby faced angel...
Soon I find myself heading home, thinking of all of us missing those we love that have passed on. So once again this year, I'll find as many photographs as I can find of my relatives and put them up around the house. Family and friends will ask questions, "Who is this? Who were they married to? How long did they live? Did they immigrate or was it their parents? and by relaying information I know, these ancestors "live" again. I'm Remembering, re-membering.... adding those "members" of my family back in again by remembering them.
This year I think I will try to construct a visual Family Tree like this....
Isn't it the cutest?? It comes out pretty large too. If you would like to do something like it, you can find free downloadable templates HERE. Instead of one person per flower, I'm going to try and do a family per flower, adding or subtracting petals depending on the size of the family. Then instead of the picture in the center, maybe I'll put the family last name. I'm even thinking of changing the colors slightly so I can use it more in the Fall of the year with oranges, reds, browns, and yellows.
My family is very important to me. I hope one or more of my kids finds that to be true as well and will take on the "job" of making sure the genealogy is complete generation to generation.