In August I wrote about finding my oldest brother Robert’s grave in the Hart Cemetery. Shortly after telling my six siblings about finding Robert my brother Jim started devising a plan to reunite him with our parents in the Laketon Cemetery in Muskegon.
Last week Mark and I met Jim and his wife Janet at the Hart Cemetery to exhume some of the dirt in Robert’s grave. Robert’s wooden casket had deteriorated after 68 years so all that was left in his grave was dirt and some small pieces of wood from his casket. As a family we decided to keep a headstone at both cemeteries.
John Wilson, the sexton at the Hart Cemetery, treats this cemetery as if he owns it. He knows where everyone is buried and is so respectful of its visitors. John takes great pride in making sure the grounds are beautifully groomed.
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, Robert’s 68th birthday, my siblings met at the Laketon Cemetery to celebrate Robert and bury him near my parents. Before the burial we added a few special items to his burial box. Janet made a baby blanket for him and we all added a few of our own thoughtful treasures.
After the burial we visited my brother Mick and my sister Jean who are both buried a few rows away.
We ended Robert’s celebration at Jim and Janet’s house with a birthday cake. I can’t help but wonder who Robert resembled or what his personality would have been like.