Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Tombstone Tuesday


Decorating the family’s graves has kind of fallen to Omega (aka Sister Amy) over the years.  Two of her daughters’ graves are being decorated, so she’s great at remembering and taking care of things. I help out when I can.

Not that I mind. Actually, I enjoy going to cemeteries. Well, I enjoy old ones. New ones that are flat and monotonous, not so much.

As usual, this year when I went to pick up some of the decorations (if you wait too long, roving bands of senior citizen gangs get them!) I took my camera along. This is the view from my mother and father-in-law’s graves.

Not a real exciting view, is it? But there’s a part of this cemetery that’s absolutely fascinating.

See? It’s a whole flock of angels. Don’t you just love angels? 🙂

So I pulled over and took a few shots. Then I happened on this one, and couldn’t tear myself away because my heart got involved.

Come a little closer. I’ll show you why.

Can you read it? It says Elizabeth Pitts, wife of Alfred Oberly. (She had to really love him to marry a guy named Alfred!) Born May 12, 1907; Died Sept. 21, 1924.

This girl was only seventeen years old and she was married and had a baby. I know she had a baby because of this. (Still makes me want to cry.)

George J. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Oberly. Born Aug. 4, 1924; Died Oct. 26, 1924. “A little bud of love to bloom with God above.”

So poor Liz had little George in August of 1924 (I’ll bet it was one hot summer with no air conditioning!) Then she died less than two months later. And then Baby George passed just over a month after that.

Why did they die? Was it child-birth fever? An illness that couldn’t be cured? Was George ill from birth? Did Elizabeth grieve herself to death over his future? His health?

And poor Alfred. Imagine the joy of having your first son with your beautiful wife, and losing them both in the first sixty days.

You can’t see her very well, but I know she was beautiful. And I’m positive she had a beautiful heart.

This is the angel on Baby George’s headstone.

Elizabeth doesn’t have an angel. She has a grieving mother, looking down on everyone who comes past.

Or maybe she’s not grieving. She might be thinking about her husband, who she had to leave behind.

I feel really bad because I don’t know what happened to Alfred. To be honest, I was so struck by the death of this beautiful young woman and her son that I forgot to look for Alfred’s grave.

Or maybe Alfred is still alive. I hope so. I’d like to say hi.

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

6 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday

  1. You have such a beautiful imagination. It matches your heart

  2. I agree with Deb, Judy

  3. I live right next to that cemetery. It is my favorite. I walk there. All those old Indian graves are very interesting.

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