Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sitting with the dead

So here I am at Heber Cemetery where the Plummers are buried.  I'm looking very much like my mother these days, which is not a bad thing at all.  She, of course, would never have worn those red shoes.  No, no, no way.

Tom's mother was religious about "fixing up" the Plummer graves with iris and peonies from her yard.  She'd make a large picnic and we'd sit outside, rain or sun, and enjoy all that food.  I am most fascinated with Lodema's grave.  She dropped dead on the dance floor at the age of 22.  

I don't know these people from jack, but they are standing over Sharon Kamerath's grave and were so pleasant, we took their picture, and then they took ours.  I believe she is Sharon's cousin.  Sarah can correct me if I'm wrong.

Just down from Sharon's grave, is our granddaughter, Lucy's grave.  Sharon and Lucy are buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery, which is a fine old cemetery filled with Mormon pioneers, brave and stalwart.   I've heard that some of them had their nasty days, but could that be true?

I just realized that I weigh about the same as I did when I was nine months pregnant with Charles, my third son.  Tom doesn't weigh much more than he ever weighed.  He is one of the blessed when it comes to even steven weight.

I haven't written about my sister, Joyce, the fifth sister.  She was born and died when I was nine.  She looked like Judy, the next sister.  Well, she looked like the rest of us.  And she would have laughed like the rest of us.  What I would like to know is how she was different. 

The morning she died, I wandered around the house looking for her, not daring to ask my parents what they had done with her.  We were sent off to the Garretts'.  Ana made us an enormous platter of tuna sandwiches on WHITE bread--we never had white bread.  I ate so many I got sick and missed the funeral.  I suspect it was anxiety as much as the tuna sandwiches.

No one talked about her death.  We all went off to our separate corners to grieve in our own peculiar ways.  

In the fall, I went to fourth grade, which was not my favorite.  I told lies.  I stole some meaningless part of a hoosier cabinet that was the very big deal expenditure for Hamilton School that year.  It rolled on casters from one classroom to another. We learned to make tuna on toast on that damn thing.  Probably someone saw me, because Miss Cardall asked me about it.  No, I didn't know anything.

 I was sent to the principal, Miss Hammer, and she questioned me, but I kept lying, and finally they left me alone.  

I honestly don't know why any child would tell the truth to adults.  


  1. I love the red shoes and beads. I love white with khaki. Why did Tom change his shirt? I used to play in the cemetary near my home. I would steal the satin ribbons off the bouquets, take them home, iron them and put them in my hair. I had over 20 of them.

    1. Bonnie, we went out on two different days.

  2. That's Lee and Nancy Snell. He's an outstanding poet. You'd love him. And his writing.