the family (chapter 2)

(originally written feb. 27. a follow-up to this entry)

i looked for my grandparents’ grave the other day. that awful cemetery was cleared out more than usual. so i tried to find them, but it wasn’t any use.

it was cold out there. i walked along the path towards the back of the place. apparently my great grandmother is out there somewhere. and my biological maternal grandfather’s family, too.

i cried. i hate knowing that they’re there and can’t be found. and so many others...so many markers that are just a piece of white stone with (maybe) an initial on it. some are just long, rectangular slabs of white marble with no writing at all.

i’ve seen my grandmother’s headstone once. that’s it. i am glad that some of the land’s been cleared. Very glad. i had no reason to go out there...i was coming back from the flea market and something told me to go by...when i did, i saw that so much of the land had been cleared that i could actually walk around and look for them.

but all my memories are hazy. i wasn’t at my grandmother’s funeral and only went to her gravesite once. and that memory was—i realize now—distorted in that way that childhood memories often are. i didn’t go to the grave when they buried pop-pop. i couldn’t watch them put him in the ground. so I didn’t have a point of reference for that, either. my mother says they’re marked by the same stone. i do know it was flat, which would make it more difficult to find.

i want to find them. and my great-grandmother.

i love her in a way, even though i never met her and have only seen a few pictures. but my mother loved her so much i feel like i know her. and because of her maiden name, i can trace where we came from—a rare gift. my great-aunt garnetta looks like her...

i have to go to virginia this summer and leave an offering in the river. it's been on my mind since honey & i went to richmond last summer.

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