Memories of Grandpa and Maude
by Judy Stock
Have you ever had something that you have wanted to do for years and then suddenly on the spur of the moment you do it???
Well this happened to me yesterday, Friday, February 23, 2007. For years I have wanted to find my grandfather’s grave, on my father’s side of the family. Several years ago I had been there with dad’s sister and her husband, but I couldn’t remember how to get there, but knew the general location.
The temporary position I am working at right now is located in Petersburg, Indiana, about forty miles northeast of my home. One of the guys I met lives near Monroe City, Indiana, and that is where my grandfather is buried. So on Friday one of the other guys left this man a note that I wanted to see him and I got the directions from him and it was only twelve miles to the cemetery from where I was working. After getting off work at 3pm the weather was as good as it was going to get for awhile and I headed off to Monroe City.
I got to the turn off without any problem and thank goodness the county road was paved and not gravel – just had my car washed two days before! The directions said to take a left at the first road, but I failed to ask how far I would travel before I arrived at this road.
Finally I saw this gravel road and it looked well kept and I just wondered if this was the right place to turn or did this go up to the homes I could see? Well there was only one way to find out and sure enough it went as far as the last house where I turned around and headed back to my original road.
After traveling some distance I saw a nice paved road, Coomers Road, to the left so I turned. I kept looking and looking and looking, but didn’t see a church or cemetery. Finally I came to the end of the road and I was back to what I thought to be the same highway I had turned off. I thought well I’m going to back track and find someone to ask how I get to where I need to be and I’m not turning on this highway, because I’m not that sure which way to go. (as you have probably found out I’m not much of a navigator and you are right!)
Just about this time I looked up and here was a huge sign that stated: Walnut Grove Church and Cemetery – back the way I had came, so I’m assuming I passed it up. I didn’t drive so fast going back, but still didn’t find any church or cemetery.
At the end of Coomers Road, where I had originally turn onto it, I saw this small blue sign pointing the way I should have continued before turning onto Coomers Road. Up the road just a short distance was the church. Now where I was suppose to have turned left still has me baffled and I will ask the guy on Monday.
I looked around the cemetery and thought am I going to find his gravesite or not and I decided to walk up and down the rows and look at all the stones. Right away I knew that it wouldn’t be a newer stone nor would it be a really old stone. Yes I did remember to take a piece of paper and pen with me to write down the dates on his stone.
It didn’t really take all that long and I was so overjoyed when I found grandpa’s stone. Now I know that my dad’s mother had passed away before he and mom were married and then later there was a very nice lady named Maude at grandpa’s, but I never knew if they were married or not. Apparently they were as Maude was next to Grandpa and they shared the same stone.
I just stood there for several minutes and I talked to Grandpa and Maude and told them how glad I was to finally know where they were laid to rest. I remembered how when we would go to Grandpa’s for a meal Maude would bless the food and as she did she would take a bite out of each dish and say a blessing. I thought that was so neat and has stood out in my mind for all these years.
What I wasn’t prepared for was when I did some figuring and found out I was fifteen years old and not sixteen when Grandpa passed away and that was fifty years ago. Wow how the time has flown. I said my goodbyes and told them that I would be back soon and I will.
After that I decided to take the drive through Vincennes, Indiana, where I use to live, and travel the same road we use to take to Grandpa’s. I remembered there was a very steep hill with a church on top of the hill and yes I would fell like I was losing my stomach every time we went up and down that hill. There was also a cemetery with the church, but when I approached the hill I saw that the church was gone and it was now all cemetery. I continued my journey right into Vincennes and stopped to pay my respects to my family – another cemetery. No it wasn’t a depressing day it was a wonderful fun filled experience. I can’t quite explain it, but it is like life is coming together.