Published 10:18 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He found himself standing amongst the headstones perusing the inscriptions. His wife’s family reunion at Woodsdale Baptist Church had entered into genealogy discussions like long trains, with car after car after car.

“That was Aunt Erma’s half-sister who married Uncle Wayne, Shirley’s brother….”

“That was great-granddaddy “Shorty” Smith, whose son was Harold, who…”
And on it went. He had found a convenient time and slipped out into the adjoining cemetery.

“Annie Howell Parker”
That was a nice looking headstone. Strolling along, his mind wandered to a letter he had been meaning to write to his sister, who lived at such distance he rarely saw her.

“Johnson, James I.”
“Rest in Peace”
He thought of applying for a new position over at the yard, but the whole process unnerved him. It involved change, a word he increasingly disdained as the years had passed.

“John Milson Ballard”
Nov. 11, 1856
Feb. 8, 1917
“How desolate our home bereft of thee”
He thought of perhaps finally taking his grandson out on the boat. They had talked about it, but it seemed something always came up.

Wife of S.B. Carr
And that class at church. They’d been after him to teach. It was a little out of his comfort zone. And the age group scared him, with all the questions they might ask. But then again.

“Catherine Cornelia Johnson”
Oct. 3, 1854
July 4, 1910
“Thy Trail Ended, They Rest is Won”
He turned as he exited the graveyard. His pace quickened as the sound of his footsteps hit the pavement. He had things to do.

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.