My grandfather, whom I called Papa, while his name was actually Sid, was the highlight of my visits. My mother always told me stories about him, and as the story goes, he worshipped me when I was a toddler. I was the first grandchild, the first niece, the first baby in the family for quite some time. Papa would walk for miles to pick me up and take me back home with him, and I loved flowers, so all along the way I wanted to stop and pick every flower I saw. Of course, he let me, even if it meant picking them right out of someone else’s yard.
My grandmother, Mattie, I was told was jealous because Papa was so crazy about me and spoiled me terribly. Of course, I do not remember any of this. However, I do remember when I visited during those summers she did not seem overly happy to see me.
My Papa had a stroke, and as a result, his throat became paralyzed, so he could not talk very well. He eventually passed away, but my trips to stay with my father’s family did not stop because of this. My grandmother Mattie had her sister, whom I called Aunt Bert, come to live with her after Papa died, and it was Aunt Bert that entertained me the most, and tolerated me more so than my Grandma Mattie did. Do not get me wrong, Grand...
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...ones. She knew a lot of the people who were buried there and would tell me stories about them, who they married, how they lived their lives, how many children they had, and all the details in between. To me, being a child, I found it very interesting. I often wonder if she did not make up some of the stories she used to tell me.
Eventually they caught Aunt Bert stealing, I do not know how or when, but I do remember visiting one summer and asking why we could not go to the graveyard. She told me they did not allow visitors anymore, but years later, I found out the real reason, that they caught her stealing from the graves.
Aunt Bert died years later with breast cancer, after I quit going for the summer. However, she was buried in the same cemetery where she used to visit everyday. I wonder if she still roams around at night, visiting all the others that are there.
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