Lichen growing on the gravestone of Opal and Howard Teal, Bullard, Texas
“…their wake reaches us, rocks us.” ~ Denise Levertov
When I visit the graves of my parents, I am not visiting them, I am remembering them, along with many other family members. In the Bullard, Texas cemetery are graves belonging to a number of aunts, uncles, maternal and paternal grandparents and even great grand parents. Lichen spreads and clings to the stones and reminds me of the spreading and clinging of their stories in my life. As the poet quoted above suggests, their “wake” reaches and rocks” me. I have been cradled in their love and faith. I remember. Without opening a single page of written family history, I thank God for lives lived, names that roll easily off my tongue.
Opal and HOward Teal
Veda and Woodrow Teal
Clyde and Ky Terrell
Ida and Tom Teal
Edna and Leo Warnick
Lela and Dewey Kirkpatrick
Earnestine Matilde Curley
John Wesley and Elen Terrell
Vinnon Grady Terrell
plus many others whose names and stories I know even though I may not bring them to my mind at this moment, some who lived and died before I was born!
For All the Saints (1864)
For all the saints who from their labor rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed,
O blest communion, fellowship divine.
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost,