Friday, May 17, 2013

When a Plot of Land Holds Your Legacy

Time in my growing up territory this past month:

A visit to the grave side of my parents.

Mom and Dad's grave marker
 The custom in this church grave yard often  
has the children listed on the back side of the headstone.

So there we are the four siblings- oldest to youngest.

And then my grandparents are also here.

Born just at the turn of the century and a bit beyond.

And great grandparents Fred and Marie

Three generations all here in the same place.
 There are many markers here with the name Graft.
This whole spot of land has mostly an additional handful of names:
Meyer, Werling, Bauermeister, Grewe. Witte, 
Rekeweg and Scheumann.

 Internet search tells the story of this parcel of land.

Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery
Location: County roads 750 N and 650 E in Jefferson Township, Wells County, Indiana.
The original introduction states: “The Bethlehem Lutheran Evangelical Church Cemetery was established by the Church in 1896. The land for the Church and the Cemetery was donated by Andrew Werling, Sr. The first person to be buried here was the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bauermeister in 1896. The first adult to be buried here was Paul Fackler on March 14, 1897. History was submitted by Mr. and Mrs. David Slusser.”
The Wells County Indiana Family History 1837-1992 book on page 73, in the history of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, states “The church records of St. Paul, Preble, record the death of an infant son of Henry and Friedericke Breier Bauermeister, December, 1896. As a consequence, on Christmas Day of 1896 a cemetery was established which still serves the congregation today.”

And in the front of the cemetery sits-
 The school- Bethlehem Lutheran- where I went Grades 1-8.
Where I met dear Husband in fifth grade.
And it sits on the front side of the road
and the cemetery fills out the back of the property.

And probably the run of the generations
 buried together
will mostly come to an end -
as families scatter and move away,
 and die elsewhere
 and are buried elsewhere.
Not back on the family parcel
 that sits behind the church.

Where you can walk through and see
whole family systems
collected together.

Where faith legacy is tied to a
church culture.

Where the dates all tell the story of
births, and marriages and

Where lives were lived out in close proximity.
Where the stories were handed down and embellished.

And it is probably true that generations
 of GRAFT's in years to come
 will be reduced to internet searches
 to locate the rest of the story.
To claim the relatives.
To keep telling the stories
 of generations connected.

And my prayer is that the story
 continues of what God has done...
Continues to bless.

Across the miles -
Generations of GRAFTS-
Living in Grace.
Redeemed and Blessed.
Waiting for the
 Grand Heavenly Reunion of all.

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