Beautiful Stones

22 May
I decided to spend the late afternoon/early evening of the 2011 rapture (heh) at the graveyard. More of a coincidence than a morbid plan on my part, though I do find the timing amusing (hence, the prior heh). Needless to say, I am still here, thus able to post my findings from the cemetery.

My mission seemed simple. I had three tombstones to find; Genevieve Norris (my great-grandmother), Genevieve Paul (my great-great grandmother, mother of Genevieve Norris), and the shared burial site of Minnie Lee Norris and William Robert Norris.

Lesson number one in tombstone searching: Don’t leave home without the location of the stones. Sometimes our trusty smart phones, aren’t nearly as trusty as one would hope. In this instance my “smart” phone decided not to search the cemetery’s website. Luckily, I could access the other tombstone database that I’d used to find info. about their burials. Sadly, T-237 and T-60, were rather mysterious descriptions. There was no section T on the map, and if they were buried in 237 and 60, then the next big question was…WHERE? There was no plot number listed.

After a quick text to mom to see if she could access the cemetery’s website, she came back with the same results (well minus the mysTery T). I began to fear my whole trip would be a bust. The office was closed for the day, so there was no one to tell me what plot numbers my Norris relatives lie (lay?) beneath. I decided to take a meager attempt at wandering about randomly (once even counting the rows up to what might’ve been row “T”).

Just as I had decided my day of reckoning should’ve been spent elsewhere, and right after I pulled my car along the side of section 237 to do a drive-by search, I spotted her.

My next hope was that Genevieve Paul, her mother, was nearby. No such luck. I proceeded with my random search, in hopes that her tombstone would magically appear to me just as my great-grandmother’s had. I really don’t know how I lucked out, but I did. Three or four rows away, I found this beautiful stone.

 Check out the columbines carved on it.
Feeling rather smug, but mostly just lucky, I ventured to section 60 of the cemetery, where I hoped to find the burial site of Minnie L. Norris and William R. Norris (my great-great grandparents). My guess was that good luck wouldn’t strike three times, plus I had to pee. I found the section, pulled my car to the side, and started to walk toward the graves (debating in my head where to begin, and how long I could search before driving two miles down the road to the nearest gas station bathroom). I hadn’t even gotten across the street to start my search, when my eyes were directed right toward their gravestone. The sunlight beamed down upon it, lighting it up, and literally drawing me right toward it. It was as if Minnie herself saw me coming, and said, “Look! Right here! Here I am! Here I am!” You probably think I’m exaggerating, but I really couldn’t have made this up (okay, I could’ve, but I didn’t). It was so fantastic that I’m quite certain I breathed an, “Oh my goodness No way!” out loud immediately. You can even see the remnants of the sun-shimmer on the stone in this picture. (If you really think about it).

I was so happy to find them; in the very first plot in section 60.

With a lot of room around them…

Gravesites are strange. There’s this aura about them that makes you want to reach out to the people buried there, and yet at the same time they are just stones…and well…bones. I was amazed at how beautifully preserved all three of the gravestones I found were, of course the oldest one was only from 1942, but still… I think in my mind I expected something strange, fading, and distant, when in reality they were clear,strong, and present. Minnie and William and the Genevieves were right there in front of me, and didn’t feel like they’d been gone nearly as long as they have. I never knew any of them, but I touched each of their stones, and told them how much I would’ve loved them. They were, of course, the people who brought me my Grandpa, my mom, and my aunt. They were just as wonderful. I know it.

One Response to “Beautiful Stones”

  1. Brad Norris June 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    This is so cool! William Robert and Minnie Lee Rose Norris are my great grandparents through Elmer! You are my second cousin once removed! I visited Colorado Springs three years ago for a wedding and found their graves just as you described! We need to compare notes.

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