the powell cemetery on grapevine mountain

Pa spent the day on the mountain. Fixing his mother’s grave. His hands have kept it from sinking…for years.

No one knew where he was. A man of 70. Of five heart attacks and so much more.

Ma worried. She wrung her hands and waited. When he came home she asked him where he’d been? Why was he up there? All alone?

Something could have happened. No one would have known.

“I wasn’t alone. All my family was there.”

He should know. He was the one who buried them.

Pa doesn’t build coffins. Not anymore. But he builds the graves to put them in. He does it because no one else will, and because people deserve to be laid to a real rest…in a family cemetery….where family do it all. Pa’s been doing it since he was twelve. (WTGWM)

I know why he goes to the Powell Cemetery on Grapevine Mountain. Why he thinks and prays and sits alone with everything that was and will be.

I know because he told me.


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  • David
    Mar 17, 2006 at 20:03

    Since he was 12? WOW…the life your Pa must’ve had. And I’m wondering if you’re the only one that knows this…are you the one to carry on this tradition?

  • vicissitudinaire
    Mar 17, 2006 at 20:44

    I admire people who remember and respect the dead.
    (changing the subject)
    Sometimes I find it unsettling to be confided in by my own father. He’d forget who I am and say things that are meant to be told to a close friend, and I wonder if it’s good for our father-daughter relationship for me to know him that well.

  • kerri
    Mar 18, 2006 at 9:38

    I love the image evoked in the phrase “she wrung her hands…” I have always had a soft spot for that phrase. Great post.

  • Lynn
    Mar 18, 2006 at 12:07

    What a moving piece!

  • LisaBinDaCity
    Mar 18, 2006 at 14:49

    I can picture him so clearly. And I feel like I know what makes him “tick.”

    Lovely post.

  • Dawn (webmiztris)
    Mar 18, 2006 at 19:15

    it makes me curious who is going to bury Pa and keep his grave from sinking?

  • divinecalm
    Mar 19, 2006 at 2:16

    I really love the flow you created.

  • fauve
    Mar 20, 2006 at 13:52

    Enchanting…You are one of the few people who can make me sigh and smile at the same time.

  • K
    Mar 20, 2006 at 14:44

    Beautiful, just beautiful…

  • hattigrace
    Mar 21, 2006 at 0:47

    My mother, father and grandmother were cremated. I have no graves to visit. I feel robbed. They wanted to save money. They did not know how I would long to sit at their burial site and talk. Talk about what was and what is and what may be to come.

    Your blog is beautiful.

  • Last Girl On Earth
    Mar 21, 2006 at 3:52

    This is really beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Aims
    Mar 21, 2006 at 18:48

    Great writing. Thanks for visiting.

  • Wendy
    Mar 21, 2006 at 20:52

    This is wonderful… thank you for sharing it. I love your words and I’ll be back.

  • Ken
    Mar 22, 2006 at 13:45

    You write beautifuly. Pa sounds like a wonderful man.

  • BougieBlackBoy
    Mar 23, 2006 at 18:48

    This is perfect. Absolutely perfectly written.
    Hope things are going well for you. Wrote a McDowell Co.-esque thing on my blog “La Femme Nikita”.

  • dan flynn
    Mar 23, 2006 at 20:12

    Catching up with your blog, B. I like the brevity of this piece and the feel of this family’s history as it drips from the words. Great writing.

  • sandra
    Mar 24, 2006 at 6:59

    And life comes full-circle…

  • jason evans
    Mar 28, 2006 at 16:59

    A quiet moment, and an important reflection. I’m sure he carried a piece of the place with him always.

  • beckq
    May 9, 2006 at 2:06

    But you’re an excellent story teller. You’ve inspired me to start to collect my own family’s stories. It’s a passion of mine I’ve put off for too long. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.