A Cowboy’s Faith: Remembering lost loved ones

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What a terribly sad day, yet such a most beautiful reflection of memories all at the same time.”

That is quite a conflicting statement, yet there’s no question about the truth of it.

Every year as far back as the brain will remember, Memorial Day has been a very special time.

In the beginning only one grave was visited. There wasn’t even a tombstone for namesake Grandpa Frank. Only Grandma Buchman, Nannie, knew exactly where he was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Dad (Clarence) was only 11 years old when Grandpa passed, uncle Elmer was 14, and Aunt Luvella was quite young. Of course, there was no money to buy any kind of marker.

Upkeep of graveyards wasn’t important for many years either. So, in the mid-‘50s and perhaps later, Dad, usually with Grandma accompanying, would mow Grandpa’s grave lot. It wasn’t regular care with the push wheel-powered mower, but always done the week before “Decoration Day.”

Finally, sometime in the late ’50s, a nice gray granite grave marker was purchased. It was engraved with pertinent now-most-interesting information about the Frank Buchman and placed where Grandma said to.

When Grandma passed, nearly half a century after Grandpa, she was buried beside him with matching stone. Elmer is next to her, and Dad and Mom are buried behind them.

Nowadays, at least four cemeteries are visited in the important day’s trek. Flowers, sometimes artificial and occasionally real ones, are placed on lost loved one’s graves.

Far most important though is the precious reminiscences of those gone to the great beyond. With bowed head, name, birthdate and day of passing are read and read again while remembering. Visions of stature, features, voice, special times and sometimes more are reflected.

Brief stops are also at graves of distant relatives born more than a century ago. Only know them as others have said their names.

While specific visits are usually not made, many additional markers are also viewed walking and driving through graveyards. Again, it’s quite depressing, as so many have been acquaintances, friends, and best customers.

Thankful for the Memorial Day services honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. They must never be forgotten.

Reminded of Amos 8:7: “The Lord has sworn the glory and pride surely I will never forget any of their rebellious deeds.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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