Monday, May 2, 2011

Reminiscing the Past: Part XII

by Kaylyn Evans

1929, the father is the last to pass on. And rest he shall among the family. The grounds are shaded by cedar and they face a land of opportunity and openness. A new foreign land is where the Malўs called home and most likely prospered. The size of the headstone and its detail must have cost much of what they had saved, but it is worth this cost to keep their name out there for a lonely and infrequent passerby to see.

Josef and Frantska now lie with their children by their sides. The Malўs are protected by the cedar trees and the dew soaked grass. The calm, warm winds clean them on this beautiful September morning. Their bodies are blanketed by the moist, deep Earth. They are minded by their God they chose to believe in and are guarded by the noble Saints Peter and Paul. Where they lie is separated only by a gravel road from the house of their God.

They rest in the pristine cemetery with a solid, lightly decorated and polished gray monument that stands above their heads where Josef, Frantska and their three children's names are now carved into time. Their native language of Czech adorns the lovely headstones. Frantska, a beloved daughter and mother, is memorialized with a sentence that only a few may translate and understand. I wonder what is said of her. I wonder who decided to leave words just for her. A massive agave has grown next to her headstone, making her blessed by the earth Herself.

However, happiness has not always befallen the Malўs. Two were lost far too young. Only days old and they were to be buried within the family plot. They now are among the parents and brother, Lancelot, they never knew. Miloslav and Josef Jr., twins, will always be remembered and loved, even after such a short life. Josef and Frantska had to watch Miloslav be taken after three days of life, and then they had to endure the pain again as Josef Jr. was also taken only a few days after his second half. A passerby, like myself, could not imagine what pain and heartache that would cause; how could two parents survive that? Yet again Josef had to watch as his young son, Lancelot, be taken away too, not long after Frantska, but quite some time after his brothers. Poor, poor Josef! My heart aches for the Malўs; how traumatic their life had to have been with so many young graces lost. And poor Josef had to live multiple years with only the headstones that must have cost much of his hard-earned money; these seemingly being the only tangible pieces of them left for him. How did he make it through? Did he throw himself into whatever work that made him most likely prosper in the eyes of business men? But he did not prosper in his life because his Lord took his family away far too soon.

Yet now death does not walk along these rows of heroes, patrons, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. New forms of life spring from the earth and prevail in the place of the loved ones who were lost, in the place of the tragedies that many, most likely, felt. Families watch over the quiet and lovely graves. Their family tombstones enlighten us all of those who once lived before us. Sadness does not fall here, but happiness for the lives of those who once brought joy shines through.

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