A Tuesday Tale - Minnie's Grave

Because I haven't done one in a while ...

Minnie's Grave

She lies buried in a large plot. A six grave plot - three graves wide, two graves deep.

But she is alone.

Her son brought her here, to this plot ... this plot with the big family marker in the middle ... brought her here from his home in eastern Iowa, on a train, in 1906.

Her return to Ottowa, on that train, was duly recorded in the town newspaper ... in a short paragraph. It gave no further information, but that her son, Albert, brought his mother's body back from Iowa to be buried in the town cemetery.

She must have expected to be joined by her children ... or some of them, at least. She had five - Albert, her first, born out of wedlock in Germany, Louis, her second, followed by Augusta, Carl, and Carolina, who was called 'Lena'.

But she is alone.

Her family is all gone. All of them are buried in their own places, with their own families, except, perhaps, for Lena, who never married. No one alive remembers where she might be.

In 1895, Minnie was said to be the widow of Henry, but that was a lie. She and Henry divorced sometime around 1890. Albert had him admitted to the Old Soldier's Home in Marshalltown in 1900. Albert must have tried to keep his family together, but it fell apart, nonetheless. So now, all of them are buried in their own places.

And she is alone.

There is no marker for her. Her grave is one of six, but which one is unknown. The big marker in the middle of the plot is inscribed with the family name, but it gives no clue as to which is hers.

So she lies alone.

But she is not forgotten. Flowers mark her grave, now. The first flowers on her grave in over a hundred years.

Minnie is my great-grandmother. I put flowers on all six graves.



Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

OH Lou.

Beautiful words for a bittersweet tale.

She would have liked you.

Employee No. 3699 said...

That's so sad. But with five children, at least she wasn't alone in life.

Nan Sheppard said...

It's so strange... sometimes I feel that my family is too huge, gregarious, buried one on top of another and we've got documents and family trees going back fifteen hundred years... Especially coming back to England, where my kids are now learning their own family history at school. It can be suffocating.

But it would be lonely, not to have all those ancestors. And I wouldn't like to be all alone without any other ghosts to haunt with. Are you going to use the plot? I'm sure you could use modern technology to find out which grave is Minnie's. For future generations?

Indigo said...

Soulful, haunting. I've already made sure everyone knows, I don't want to be buried. Let my ashes coast on the wind and touch upon life. (Hugs)Indigo

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Sad story, but I hope that wherever she is now, that she's with the ones she loved in life.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

You are such a good writer that I can't tell if this is a story or a real account. If Minnie really is your great-grandmother, I wish her and your family peace.

Rhoni said...

This brought tears to my eyes!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Sweet that you brought her flowers, Lou. I wouldn't care so much about a grave all alone. More that I had lived a life in good company...