When I read Dorothy’s obituary I knew I needed to visit her in the cemetery. Now I would be the first person to tell you that you don’t need to go to a cemetery to visit the dead, you can talk to them in your heart anytime you want to talk to them, and you have their undivided attention. However, I felt a calling to visit my Mother’s grave. I looked up the cemetery on Google maps, keyed in the address into my GPS and made a visit. I had the section and the grave number written down so I could find my Mother easily. The cemetery is 17 miles from my home. I arrived at the cemetery on a beautiful hot Friday evening at the end of August. This was actually the day that Mary, my sister, had received my letter the day prior. I drove around looking for section numbers, this is an old cemetery and if there were numbers marking the section I certainly could not find them. I was feeling discouraged as I looked and looked around at so many graves and not a single number to be found. I even got out and walked around aimlessly, feeling so lost there. As I started to leave I saw there was a green framed home that was on the property of the cemetery, I actually passed the home at the entrance to the cemetery but did not notice it then. It was as if the home just appeared to me and invited me in. I had to assume this home belonged to the caretaker of the cemetery. The home had three cars out front so I also assumed someone was home. On the front porch of this home were many cats and kittens. I would not be exaggerating at all if I told you there were a good 25+ felines napping on this porch. As I approached the door to ring the bell some of the cats scurried off and some stayed sound asleep unbothered by me being there. I ran the bell and waited and waited. No one came to the door after several minutes so I started walking towards my car. Feeling very sad at this point, I had come so close, my Mother was here in this cemetery, so close and I had no way of finding her. Then I heard the side door of the home squeak open and a much older woman came outside asking if she could help me.
The reality of finding my Mother deceased was still very raw to me, still very new, I had my sunglasses on so that when I asked this woman to help me find my Mother’s grave she could not see I was upset about being at the cemetery. I asked her if she could help me find a grave, she explained her husband was the caretaker until he passed away but that she knew everyone buried in the cemetery by name. I told this woman I was looking for a section and told her the section number and grave number. She told me the sections are numbered but not that the eye could see, only on paper. She asked me “who are you looking for?” she knew all the graves by who was in them not by a number. So I told her. She told me she knew Dorothy quite well that her family was friends with Dorothy and her family while they all were growing up. She said that Dorothy was buried next to her brother Lawrence and sister Viola up on top the hill in the Catholic section. She then gave me directions on how to find her grave. Then she asked me who I was. Who was I? Should I tell her the truth? Why would I not? I questioned myself quickly as at this time of my first visit to the cemetery I had mailed the letter to Mary, my sister, on Monday, just four days prior, but did not yet receive a reply. I told the cemetery lady, I am Dorothy’s daughter, Carol. Me telling this woman that I was Dorothy’s daughter Carol, did not seem to faze the cemetery lady at all. I asked her what her name was. She told me Gladys. I asked her if sometime if I see her outside could I stop and talk to her about my Mother and what kind of woman she was, she said she would be happy to talk to me sometime. I assumed she didn’t know Dorothy that well or maybe she forgot how many children Dorothy had.