Monday, April 23, 2012

U is for...

UM

U could be for a lot of things.  Undertaker, perhaps?  But I've already had Jim Wright, a former embalmer post on P day for preparing a body for burial as well as Q day for Q&A, so it might be overkill if I chose undertaker as my U word.  Plus, what more could I say on the subject?  Uh, they're nice? 

Then I thought about the UK.  Stay with me here.  I'm sort of OCD about checking my blog stats.  They used to be sort of embarrassingly low.  Hi Mom!  But now I've got real traffic and a third of it is from the UK.  I feel like buying a t-shirt that says "I'm Huge in the UK."  But, that would be really weird, so I won't do that.  Although it's very tempting.  Very. (Hi Lori, oh t-shirt maker you!  You can make that one right after you make the "You had me at Bacon" tee.) So, I know of two people from the UK who comment regularly on my blog, so I'm gonna give them some love right here in this post.  Hi Clare and Wes!  Here's a link just for you to UK death statistics.  You know, just for fun.  I appreciate your comments.  Like a lot.

Okay, so UM.  My husband suggested I write about unmarked graves, which sounded wonderful at 11pm last night, but then I spent my day assembling 625 snack bags for kids taking the STAAR test tomorrow in Texas.  No, I didn't do it all myself, but there was that.  Then I got my kids from school, came home and had to wash a sink full of dishes.  Then I baked some M&M cookies for the teachers.  Then I made dinner and now I'm composing this totally random blog about the letter U.  What I really want to do is watch the Ranger game with my husband.  But, I'm dedicated to this blog.  And I'm dedicated to you, dear reader.  The problem is, I don't want to do any research, so the place that came to mind with a whole bunch of unmarked graves (some of them are marked with a number) is Peckerwood Cemetery.  Actually it's called Joe Byrd Cemetery and you can read all about it here.  It's where poor inmates in Texas are buried if their family doesn't claim their body.  If my book ever gets published, I want a picture of that cemetery as the cover image.  Why?  You'll have to read the book:)


Oh, and there's this Biblical quote about unmarked graves.  Luke 11:44  This is from the English Standard Version.  "Woe to you!   For you are like unmarked graves and people walk over them without knowing it."

So, I'm sorry I didn't deliver any earth shattering U topic for your reading pleasure today.  Check back tomorrow when I have a very special guest blogger.

Got any questions for me?  Ask away!



19 comments:

  1. Actually, Pam, this is a very interesting topic. An unmarked grave really saddens me, because it makes it seem that the person didn't matter to anyone. And although I've read that scripture many times before, there is just something about the way you've used it in this post that really brings it to life (no pun intended). :)

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    1. Well, I'm glad it resonated with you. Unmarked graves, especially those of inmates, makes me sad too.

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  2. Firstly: Thanks for the shout out! I feel like a X-list celebrity (higer than Z, lower the Y ^_^)

    Secondly: The stats are actually quite fascinating and not at all like how I'd percieve the figures to be in my head.

    Thirdly: I enjoyed the post. If you'd have done Undertaker, I'd have made some vague wrestling reference that most wouldn't have found funny. Plus unmarked graves are so...sad.

    From an early age I took on the Chinese mentality of saying sorry whenever I walk over someone's grave. That's not to say I walk over graves on a regular basis, and I actually go out of my way to go around graves out of respect, but you get my point.

    The reason being that it's disrespectful to disturb someone's remains, so to stop them coming back and haunting you, you offer an apology (or yeah, walk around them).

    The subject of unmarked graves reminds me of this small philosophy. With a person's name, and a short sentance summing up their life into five-or-so words, when I see a grave, I know a real-life person lives there. With unmarked graves I can't help but wonder.

    Who were they?

    I know "Wes was a good Farther and a good Husband" only covers two parts of me as a person, but at least passers by can read it and go "Hey, this Wes guy was a Farther, and I hear he was a good husband too." It's not much, but it's something, which is a lot more than nothing...

    /Wes

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    1. I hear you. And now it makes it sadder for the inmates at Peckerwood. It's basically saying, these men don't matter enough to be remembered for anything other than their prison number.

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  3. Aww, thanks for the shout out. Wes put me onto your blog, and I'm so glad he did. I love it. You've made me look at death, and aspects of it in a whole new way.

    I agree with Linda above, unmarked graves are sad, as it makes me feel like the person's life didn't matter. I suppose they mattered enough that they were buried in a proper fashion, with a cross, though.

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    1. You're welcome! I guess since I'm not going to be buried, I don't feel as saddened by them as I should. We only live in the memories of the lives we've touched while we are alive.

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  4. When I visited the cemetery here for my "S" post, I was walking around taking pictures and suddenly realized I was standing on two unmarked graves. It made me feel awful, and also sad. I wondered who these two people had been, and how they had ended up forgotten in this way. Unmarked graves are very haunting to me.

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    1. I still want to see the bust of the optometrist! I hope you go back and find him.

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  5. It's nice you've dedicated a post to the unmarked, the unnamed...but hopefully not unforgotten.

    For some reason it made me think of a wonderful web site I enjoy using, but its purpose is totally opposite of your "unmarked" topic: it helps you identify where people are buried, plus so much more: http://www.findagrave.com/

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  6. Oh, cool. I think I'm going to look up my Grandma's grave.
    Thanks, Jess!

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  7. No problem! It's a fun site - with famous people, interesting epitaphs, etc. 79 million records or so!

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    1. I just went on there, but they didn't have my grandma's grave listed:( But, it looks like a cool site.

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  8. Speaking of the UK, helloooo from another Brit :D

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Peckerwood Cemetery, interesting stuff!

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    1. I love the UK!!!
      And you are welcome. Be sure to check google images of Joe Byrd (I'd google that instead of Peckerwood, cuz well...) cemetery. There are some great images.

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  9. When I was visiting in Texas (great state!) I was driving down I-45 and stopped in Huntsville at the Texas Prison Museum. I never made it to Joe Byrd but it was mentioned at the museum. I seem to recall that some of the graves were marked specifically for the inmates who had been executed but never claimed. Correct me if I am wrong.

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    1. I don't think there is anything that marks them as an inmate that was executed. All who are buried there, whether they were executed or not, are unclaimed by the family. Funerals are expensive. I know that when I followed a young man that was executed back in 2009, his body was taken to a funeral home around the corner from the Walls Unit. Everyone ends up there whether their family takes them or not.

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  10. Unmarked graves are sad. It would be nice if everyone had a proper goodbye in death.

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    1. I'd be happy if people felt loved and appreciated in life.

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  11. I used to think I wanted to be buried, but over time I'm starting to think more about cremation. 100 years after I die, my grave will still be taking up space - that bothers me.

    Then again, I love walk through old cemeteries reading all the old grave stones.

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!