Last week I took my neighbor, Nina, to Saran (a nearby city). Most of her family is buried in the city cemetary there. She was unable to go on their remembrance day so I had promised to take her.
I must tell you that I do not like going to cemetaries (and my opinion hasn’t changed after this trip…). But, I knew it was important to her so I took her.
We left at 9:30 a.m. as I knew that the day was going to be hot. Nina has a heart problem and I was a little worried about her with the heat. When we arrived, it was already getting warm.
We began clearing away brush and weeds in the first set of plots.
After clearing off the weeds, she took some corn pellets and laid out a Russian Orthodox cross on each grave, laid some flowers and then placed some crackers and candy between the graves. Lastly, she took some vodka and poured it on the grave. Each of these being a Russian Orthodox tradition.
The last photo has her standing near her husband’s grave. After she finished her work, we found a table nearby. Many plots have a small metal table and bench. So, she took out some food and we had a small picnic.
While we were eating I looked over at a grave marker. While looking at the birth and death dates, I realized the person was young. It was at that time I understood that each of these markers indicate a life lived and that each of these persons indicate a person who had a story to tell.