Thursday, 12 November 2009

09 Ontario - those who have gone before ...

I spent many summers visiting my grandparents and aunts & uncles in the Grey County area. My family came to Canada in the early 1800's. The little town of Clarksburg was near my grandparent's farm. It is a town of stately brick homes. The 'downtown' street has sprouted coffee shops, galleries and a honey house.However, some of the originals have survived. This was my uncle's favorite haunt for supplies to repair farm equipment.My parents were married in St George's Church in Clarkesburg. My dad did a painting of the church and presented it to my mom for their 50th wedding anniversary. My parents both passed away in 2008, after 70 years of marriage. This rock with a cross is in the memorial garden.Both sides of my family came to Canada in the early 1800's. We visited the Union Graveyard that is the last resting place of many of my dad's family. I saw names of relatives and their friends who were a part of my memories from those wonderful summers I spent in the area. I heard the family stories - of a young Indian boy who brought a fish as a present when they first settled.
The photo and gravestone below is my great-great grandfather, William.My grandmother gave me a organdy tea apron from William's wife, my Great-Great Grandmother, Jane Foster.This photo is of my great grandfather (second from left) and his brothers.
Below: My great grandfather is on the left, my grandfather is in the center, my dad to the right and my older brother on the stool.I found a headstone commemorating two of my great grandfather's children who died in in an epidemic, 8 days apart. Below - my grandparents. My grandmother made pies & bread & pickles that won the awards at the fair. To get her celery sauce recipe, I had her bring out the bowls she used for measurement, the old worn tablespoon and the chipped cup. Then I measured how much water they contained. I came pretty close to the original. And, of course she was a quilter. We slept under her colourful quilts, each carefully hand quilted. My grandfather was the best - always full of fun with a smile and a wink.My Uncle Mannie was always patient and had stories to tell. He stayed on the farm until my grandparents passed away.Walking down the rows, I felt the shadows and memories of the past.
As a child, I felt uncomfortable in graveyards.

On this day, I felt my foundations and the continuity of life.

And yet, today we seem to have anonymous passing of life. Cremation is followed by scattering of ashes. Privacy laws prevent us from searching our recent family history.

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