This is the third Birthday Season without the guest of honor. Wife Lila sent me an email today that said, “Read your Mom’s obit post from 06-2015 this morning. Felt like I needed to. It was good then, and is even better now.”
I confessed that I had let Mother’s October 17 birthday sneak up on me, and I hadn’t done an update. Her reply rocked me: “Someday there will be a point when you won’t remember to update. Not sure if it is something to look forward to or not.”
I’m pretty sure I won’t let that happen. I still remember what happened when I moved away from home to go to school in Ohio and forgot Mother’s Day.
This photo was taken when Brothers Mark and David came down to help “declutter” the house preparing it for sale. Little did we know that I’d end up buying the house myself in June two years later. (More about that later.)
Past stories about Mary Welch Steinhoff
When I pulled into 1618 Kingsway Drive late April 18 after a marathon month on the road that took me from Missouri to Ohio to Florida to Ohio, then back to Missouri, the first thing I noticed was a single red rose on the bush around the yard on the front yard.
The next morning, the bush was covered in blooms. Even though we had several days of torrential rain over the past few weeks, there were quite a few blooms ready for me to make the Mother’s Day rounds.
I don’t like plastic flowers
I’d rather leave some ratty real blossoms cut from the front yard instead of plastic plants made out of dead dinosaurs. The latter might last longer, but they are impersonal. The first stop was Wife Lila’s mother’s grave in St. Mary’s Cemetery off Perry Avenue.
My brothers and I usually mark Mother and Dad’s graves with things we pick up on the road, or things from the house. I’ve left tiles from the ruins of a building in Cairo, a railroad spike from Wittenberg and a coin smashed flat by a train car. David and Mark have buried tiny shoes from Mother’s shoe collection and Christmas ornaments.
Mother was an unusual lady, so we think she’d appreciate our quirky leavings.
“Who will decorate the graves?”
I spent many hours with Mother driving all over Cape and Stoddard counties visiting tiny cemeteries that contained the final resting places of her friends and family. This is my grandparents’ grave in Advance. You can click on the photos to make them larger.
I don’t know how many times I heard her ask, “Who will put flowers on the graves after I’m gone?”
I’ll do my best.