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Where to begin? There is so much I shouldn’t really say, some I can’t and some I don’t want to think about much less write. Lets just say major life changes are afoot. At one point we weren’t really sure if we were staying in Indiana and halting the sale of our house, or if we were staying on the Eastern Shore of Maryland or moving to Delaware, or whatever. It was and is very unsettling. Both the hubster and myself flew back to Indiana last Saturday evening, lock stock and barrel. As you can see by the above picture we travel light. We still aren’t really sure what we are doing but we will figure it out eventually. It goes without saying that something very obviously did happen in Maryland that caused the hubster to leave with me. The company that hired him there had misrepresented themselves and it was a bad situation. He has ended his association with that company.
The last day we were there was a day of goodbyes. The hubster and I went to the cemeteries. He went to the Memorial Gardens to say goodbye to his father and I went to Parsons Cemetery to say goodbye to my grandparents and my grandmothers sister. It’s an interesting story about my grandmothers sister. Nina E. Dykes was born in 1912. She was four years younger than my grandmother, Lottie Mae Dykes. She looked up to my grandmother almost like a mother as it was my grandmothers responsibility to keep an eye on her little sister. When Nina was almost twelve, in 1923, she died of cancer. Nina had bone cancer in her leg. My grandmother told me that when she and Nina was on the way home from school one afternoon someone hit Nina across the leg with a stick. And that began her cancer problem. Now I am not sure if I am not remembering that story correctly or if Grandma wasn’t remembering it correctly, but we all realize that one does not get cancer from being hit across the leg with a switch. She did tell me however (and this memory I am sure is correct in both our minds) that she would hear Nina scream in pain when the doctor would pull the packing out of her leg. She said it broke her heart to hear Nina in such pain and it was almost a relief when she passed away and was out of pain. To be sixteen and hearing your beloved younger sister scream in pain as she is dying must be a horrible thing.(click on image to enlarge)
I remember going to Nina’s grave with my grandmother when I was a little girl. I remembered her grave being on a forgotten side of the cemetery, under a leafy tree by a dirt lane. It was in an area of the cemetery where the old stones were covered with moss, making them hard to read. Some of the head stones were hard to read as they had been worn down over time by weather conditions. I like to think they were worn down by loved ones caring hands tracing the contours of the words on the headstone as their hearts brimmed with love and longing for their dearly departed.
When I went to visit my grandparents graves, when I first arrived on the Shore, I vowed to try and find Nina’s headstone and take her flowers. The first Friday I was there I began my quest armed only with a handful of silk flowers and a vague memory of a mossy stone under a shady tree by a dirt lane. It was as of Nina’s hand was clasped in mine, leading me down the dirt path to her final resting place because I went directly to it. I put flowers by her headstone and promised her I would be back.(click on image to enlarge)
It was an odd thing. In the midst of mossy old fashioned headstones dating from the mid 1800’s to the mid 1900’s, Nina’s headstone looked relatively new. Actually it looked a lot like my grandmothers headstone, both in style and in age. My grandmother had passed away December 5, 1995 but had purchased her headstone in the mid 80’s. I think my grandmother bought Nina a new headstone when she bought her own. What a sweet gift for one sister from another.
So on that last day, after I said my goodbye’s to my grandparents, I went to Nina’s grave. I put a bunch of pretty tulips by her headstone and told her I probably wouldn’t be back. I leaned close to her headstone and whispered “goodbye sweet girl, rest in peace.” Then I left.