July 23rd – Magical Lives

Our main priority for our recent trip to Gravelbourg was to visit the graves of my parents and grandparents. We had not been back since my Mother passed away eight years ago, but nothing felt more familiar than driving through the cemetery gates.

There is something so fascinating about graveyards – especially small country graveyards. The monuments are so unique and personal. It is easy to contemplate the lives of those who have been laid to rest in these graveyards. From the tiniest infants to the tots, the teenagers to those who passed away in their prime, to those who lived long full lives, did they feel loved? Were they excited to experience this life? Were they grateful that they lived in a country like ours, a land of peace and plenty? Were they amazed by the changes that took place in their lifetimes? Were they happy?

Growing up, I heard stories of many that now lay in this country graveyard. I heard heartbreaking stories, funny stories, life stories. I heard of their days at small country schools. I heard of horse and buggy trips to socials in neighbouring communities. I heard of their labour that went into the fields and the building of their community. I heard stories of these people struggling and surviving the great (and definitely not so great!) depression and two world wars. I heard of these people celebrating weddings and funerals, Christmas and Easter, and summer picnics at nearby Thompson Lake. I heard a lot of stories!

On summer visits to my grandparents, I met friends and relatives, that now lie in this graveyard. When I see my grandparents’ graves, I always notice the graves of their next door neighbours – in life and death – side by side!

Cimetier Notre Dame De L’assomption – Our Lady of the Assumption Cemetery
The headstone my father built for his brother. Uncle Herman died of leukemia when he was only 25 years old. He died in Regina, in my father’s arms. My father brought his body home by train, to be mourned by his family and buried in the Gravelbourg Cemetery. (Due to a communication misunderstanding, my grandparents thought that it was my father who had passed away and that he would be returning home with his surviving brother, Herman – making their shock and grief all the more devastating).
My father’s parents, Uncle Herman, (Kat), and my parents. (Kat seemed to instinctively know how my Dad and Uncle Herman would have enjoyed her company.)

Those were the best photos I had of the cemetery. I could have posted many more but each one holds so many stories, this blog would have run on indefinitely!

I hope you are having a nice day and anticipating a good weekend! See you tomorrow! 💞