Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Uncle Leo's Curls

Uncle Leo was my mom's brother; he died in the Battle of the Bulge in Germany six weeks before I was born. One of many young lieutenants sacrificed to the God of War. His mom, my wonderful grandmother, never stopped mourning his death.

When she died in 1970, we found Leo's curls (really ringlets) in a Fanny Farmer candy box. She had saved them all those years. Eventually, my sister became the keeper of the curls. She and I have talked a lot about what to do with them. This trip to Minneapolis we figured it out.

We took them to the cemetery where grandma and grandpa are buried, dug a small hole just below grandma's headstone and placed the curls in it. We covered them in dirt and grass and then watered them.

Sort of a macabre story, but it felt good to bring her son to her at last. He's buried at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.

Vicky brought her weed whacker so we could clean up the graves. By the time we left they were tidied up and flowers were placed between the two headstones.

The story of how we got to John the Baptist Cemetery in Savage, Minnesota is only slightly less macabre. Vicky thought it was in the nearby town of Shakopee. I couldn't remember at all. She Mapquested it for Shakopee, Those directions took us to the county building. I put the name of the cemetery into my iPhone GPS. That time we ended up at a funeral home.

Surely someone there would know where the cemetery was. I went it and found all the lights were out. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw movement and the lights came on. Scared the living daylights out of me. The funeral director was most apologetic for scaring me. He had a call to take but assured me he'd be back.

I had to go to the bathroom, which was right next to the room I was in. I was sure that as soon as I went into the ladies room he would appear. Finally I really had to go so left my chair. As soon as I sat down I heard his office door open. Damn. I flushed, hurriedly washed my hands and went out. He had printed out a map of how to get to the cemetery with landmarks.

Turns out it was in the neighboring town of Savage. So off we went again. His directions were terrific.

That's how I spent my last day in Minneapolis. I'm really glad we did it.

1 comment:

Cindi said...

This is a great story.