Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Taphophile Tragics #1

"A taphophile is one who finds they are attracted to walking around cemeteries, reading the headstones and musing upon the family history contained therein."

On a blustery day last May, I spent the day in Dayton, Oregon, USA while my mom attended a writers conference.

I knew there was an IOOF cemetery just outside of town, and headed off to find it.

The only other (live) person there was an old man in an ancient military uniform, kneeling over a headstone, pulling up minute bits of grass. He soon wandered away, and I was left alone.

The stone he had been cleaning was for Ralph (1906 - 1988) and Mildred (1913 - 1981) Hedgecock, who were married in 1931 (wow - 50 years of marriage!). I wondered about the old man's relationship to the Hedgecock family ... although the cemetery is maintained by volunteers, and he may have been one of those caretakers.

I spent several more hours walking through the cemetery, letting my imagination paint pictures of the lives memorialized there. When I left I carried away with me some of the peace I found amidst the silent stones.

Julie has created a new meme - Taphophile Tragics - "A Warm Touch Upon Cold Hard Stone" - it's worth a visit!


Anonymous said...

I didn't know there was a word for this. I don't often visit cemeteries, but when I do, I like to read the inscriptions.

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

Again you found it.

J Bar said...

Interesting find.

teri said...

Lovely story-of your day. And a perfect heart. And it is good to have a name -taphophile. It is not something I do regularly- but often enough that I have quite a collection of photos taken in graveyards.We do like to collect things don't we? Stay well- xo teri

Beth Niquette said...

I love cemeteries--especially the ones which contain graves from the pioneer days. What stories lie behind those stones? Intriguing to be sure.

This one is so touching, Sissy.

Julie said...

Trust you to come away with a heart, too. Although they are easy to find in cemeteries, I agree.

I like to imagine that the elderly gent in the miliary uniform was their son, tending their resting places.

That you for double-dipping into my new meme. You enthusiasm is contagiouus, and much appreciated.