Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 22--Christmas and Deceased Relatives

     My mother, Martha Jean Stark Hughes, died on Christmas Eve, 1999.  A day I will never forget.  Last Christmas marked the tenth year since my Mom's death. We drove to Pittsburgh, placed a poinsettia in front of her burial place and sang her favorite Christmas hymn, O Come All Ye Faithful.

     Growing up, I can remember driving to Allegheny County Memorial Park, Allison Park, Pennsylvania and placing a Christmas wreath on my maternal grandfather's (Charles Edward Stark) grave. I drove with Mom. I never knew this grandparent as he died several years before I was born.    

     In 1961, we actually moved into a house that was almost across the street from the cemetery. The tradition continued annually, after her mother (Martha Marie Frederick Stark died and even after my mother moved to Ohio. Following my Mother's death, I felt it was important to have a wreath placed on my maternal grandparents grave. Most of my family is now buried at Memorial Park. 

     Then we drove around the cemetery paying our respects to both of our grandparents, finally stopping at Dad's tombstone. My brother Jeff had something special planned for Dad instead of a wreath. Our father was a civil war buff and in 1999 his Christmas wreath was a union cap and small American flag.....very unique and festive. 

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© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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