What better time than spring to put the urgencies of everyday life aside and slip into an old Texas cemetery. Wandering between the rows of graves, many very old and some more recent, we feel the rugged tranquility of this quiet place.

New Life Amid the Markers

An antique rose miraculously survived last year’s drought and many others like it.
Bulbs planted years ago have naturalized, creating a carpet all their own.
Indian Paintbrush grace the foot of this old monument.

Forever Honored

Bronze medallions mounted on headstones or stuck into the
ground mark the faithfulness of those buried there.  

Markers (top row, left): a citizen of Texas before it became a state in 1845 and (top right) an American Legion member. (Middle row, left): recognition from the Department of the United States Army; and (middle row, right): the American Legion Auxiliary. (Above): United States Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Three rusty homemade metal crosses stand side-by-side attesting to the passage of time since they were placed there.
A dove on one gravestone and a lamb on another represent the lives of a sister and brother. They died two years apart almost a century ago. Etched on the dove stone are the words ‘Our loved one. ‘Darling, we miss thee’ is carved below the lamb.
One of the most prominent monuments is that of a local merchant and postmaster, a German immigrant who fought in the Civil War. On the top, an urn rests on a closed book set on a fringed cloth, perhaps signifying the veil between life and death.
old texas cemetary
Despite facing the elements for more than a century, a verse carved in German that roughly translates to ‘look upward in faith’ is still legible toward the foot of the stone above.
Comforting words on the headstone of an old veteran read, ‘‘Rest soldier, rest, thy warfare o’er. Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking. Dream of battlefields no more. Days of danger, nights of waking.’

It’s Time to Go

Closing the gate, we hook the rusted chain as we found it. We depart with some photos and a deeper appreciation for those who rest here.
old texas cemetary
We certainly don’t want to break the rule posted on the cemetery’s gate.

Cherished Always

Those buried in this old Texas cemetery are not forgotten. Far from it.

One day soon, a group of descendants and their friends and neighbors will return. They’ll pay their respects to those resting here to the hum of riding lawnmowers and the roar of weedeaters. Tattered flags will be replaced and faded plastic flowers gathered up and carried off in trash sacks.

Then, once again, the old souls will rest in peace.

*  *  *

If old cemeteries interest you, visit www.TuiSnider.com for a wealth of books on cemetery symbols and other resources.

Several of My Favorite Older Posts

Elaine Thomas
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