Week in Review

Hey, everyone. It’s Friday, and that means its time for a photo story and the week in review.

Okay, this week’s photo isn’t the most pleasant one I’ve shared. (And after yesterday’s woeful post, you may not want to visit me for a while.) However, more cheerful things are ahead.

If you’ve read my bio, you know I love exploring old cemeteries. Most of the ones around here only date back to the mid eighteen-fifties (for marked graves). However, there are still lots of stories behind these gravestones.

I took the above photo a few years ago in a nearby country cemetery. Three generations of my husband’s family are buried there. While exploring one day, I came across this single headstone for three people who died on the same day.

The first time I saw it, I misread the birthdate for the person in the middle, thinking it was three children. It wasn’t hard to guess the twins were stillborn or died shortly after birth, but what happened that the third child would die the same day?

It was on another visit that I saw this person was nineteen years old. Most likely, she was the mother of these twins and died in childbirth. I was touched by her epitath:

Faithful to her trust even unto death.

A sad tribute, but unfortunately this was the fate of many women in the days before modern medicine and availability of doctors and hospitals.

Exploring cemeteries makes good fodder for fiction. I always wonder what the lives were like for the men and women buried there. In my forthcoming series, I’ll be looking back at a past event that will link to modern day characters. I love legends and folklore and look forward to using (or inventing) some for the new series.

But enough about that. It’s time for this week’s writing links.

On this site:

From Story Empire:

From Other Writing Sites:

36 thoughts on “Week in Review

  1. I also have a fascination with gravestones and genealogy. My great grandmother married a silversmith in 1850 aged nineteen and lived a comfortable life in the St Cuthbert’s area of Edinburgh. Her younger sister and her mother both died in the workhouse which was down the road from her. I wish I’d known about this while my grandmother was still alive as she could perhaps have told me more about the circumstances. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to live in relative luxury and not being able to help your close family.
    The linked gravestones are so poignant, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is fascinating, Trish. I’m like you, I can’t imagine not being able to help your loved ones. My grandfather was the youngest of eight children. He was 74 years old when I was born. My mom told me a story about two of his sisters who lived twelve miles apart and didn’t see one another for nine years. This would have been in the late 1800s/early 1900s. They weren’t at odds with one another, just busy raising families. They lived on farms and probably worked dawn to dusk. Still, I can’t imagine that.

      Yes, the linked gravestones caught my eye. I wonder if her babies were buried in the same casket with her. When I was a child, a woman and her infant son died in a car crash nearby. The baby was buried in his mother’s arms.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not why I didn’t catch it the first time. But women married and had children at a much younger age in those days. Had it been a third sibling, I would have resorted to asking around, visiting a library, etc. to get to the bottom of the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also find that epitaphs can be thought provoking, and often bittersweet, like these two:

    “A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough” and
    “Raised four beautiful daughters with only one bathroom and still there was love.”

    The first is often associated with Alexander the Great (though his tomb is yet to be identified), which gives it another dimension, still..

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol. Good one. Reminds me of one I heard about (but not seen), funny, in a morbid sort of way…

        Here lies the corpse of Doctor Chard
        Who filled half of this churchyard…


        Liked by 1 person

  3. I too love visiting old cemeteries. I went to an old historic cemetery in Fort Worth with my sister last year and saw a grave that I wish I had taken a picture of. It was way back in the corner away from all the other gravesites and it was a child’s grave. But, the items placed around it was what drew my attention. There were stuffed animals (common) and there were half-burned candles (common) but then there was some sort of bones and beads and scraps of ribbon and lace that gave me shivers. It was obvious someone or several someones use that gravesite for some sort of ceremony. As you say, the graveyards can give us fodder for stories. Thanks for sharing, Joan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh that’s scary. I do love exploring them, however. One of my cousins who does genealogy found our 3rd great grandfather’s grave at a little country cemetery in Kauffman county. I’ve since visited it and it was nice to have a family connection.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is something about walking through an old cemetery and wondering sbout their lives. I’m always happy to see a couple that grew old together.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. How sad about that mother and her twins. Can you imagine the father? Times were so hard in past centuries. Like you, I love exploring cemeteries and imagining the lives of the people who are buried there. We have a local cemetery that includes graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, and also an Indian Princess named White Feather.
    My father used to take rubbings of tombstones and I think I got my love of exploring graveyards from him. I even did it as a young child.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great photo and interesting post, Joan. Times were hard back then and so many women and infants died in childbirth. I love how you work folklore and history into your writing. I’m sure you’ll do a good job with this bit of history too. Thanks for the links. Have a good weekend 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome for the links, Priscilla. Yes, this headstone certainly speaks to a heart-wrenching tale. I can only imagine how the husband and father must have felt. Very sad. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joan, interesting and well-written post! And what a unique headstone you’ve captured. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what you plan to write next. I’m itching to get back to writing more than blog posts but an insidious part of a long surgery is the impact of the anesthetic on your mental acuity. Currently, I’m still in a fog some days and don’t remember things easily. My surgeon is hoping it clears soon (should have cleared by 6 months which is tomorrow); if not soon, he’ll have to diagnose relationship to depression, which has been a bummer. So no writing just yet; not enough focus.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sherrey, I hope it’s just from the anesthesia. After my husband’s heart surgery, a friend messaged me that her husband (who had the same procedure) suffered from depression afterward. John’s care team said it wasn’t uncommon. I’m looking at having knee surgery in the next few months, so I’m hoping the anesthesia doesn’t affect me.

      As far as writing, I’m also working on some short stories. I’ll be sharing snippets from those and well as more info about the upcoming books in the next few weeks. I took almost all summer off from writing and the break was much-welcomed. But I’m ready to dive back in! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hang on in there, Sherrey! It must be frustrating but hopefully it’s an anaesthetic fallout that will resolve itself. When you’re given a timescale it’s disappointing when things overrun but none of this is a precise art and some people recover quicker than predicted and others bring up the rear.

      Liked by 1 person

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