Friday, June 15, 2007

Dates Remembered
What dates do you remember about a person? Birthday? Anniversary? Death? I remember after President Kennedy died that Jackie said she looked forward to the time when people would remember President Kennedy's birthday rather than the day he died. It couldn't happen in her lifetime nor do I think it will happen during the life of anyone who remembers November 22, 1963.

The dates of our birth and death are our identifiers forever. These and our name are carved into our grave markers. No biography would be complete without them. But people are so much more than those two dates. We want to know about their lives. What did they do, believe and enjoy? If you knew the person, events bring back memories of the person. Recently I saw the cottonwoods flying and remembered when DH saw them, he always said the crappies were biting. They are my favorite pan fish.

What brought on all this? Recently I remembered my DH on the date he died. He was cremated and his ashes scattered. He did not want one place for people to go to remember him. As he wished, I spent time outdoors, remembering.

Yesterday I went to check my aunt's grave site. I had ordered and paid for a marker last fall but I'd not seen it installed before I went to Florida last fall. I was very concerned because last January the cemetery was taken over by the State of Michigan because the owner allegedly misused the trust fund money.

Clayton Ray Smart owns 28 Michigan cemeteries and in April our attorney general issued warrants charging him with 39 felony counts of racketeering, embezzlement and larceny. They are attempting to recover $70 million that has been taken from the trust funds that had been built up by consumers who prepaid plots and other services and products. There are 400 unfilled orders for headstones that consumers paid for and have not received. I was so relieved to find my aunt's marker in place but my heart is with all the other families who have been swindled. People who have done the right thing by preparing their plots and services are in fear that these prepaid services will not be honored. I am a great advocate of being responsible and prepared and I find this so sad and frustrating.


Finn said...

Hi Katie, how very, very sad. I'm in complete agreement with you about having things taken care of, and those folks have a valid concern. I hate to see State have to do this, as it rarely turns out well for the individual, but someone should make it right.
Glad that you Aunt's stone was there. On to happier things now! Hugs, Finn

Libby said...

Why do people have to be so creepy and dishonest? I'm glad to hear you were not affected and hope there is a solution to make it right for those who have been.