We visited Austin in mid October for Maker Faire 2008. Stay tuned later for more on the Faire.
Stefan went skating at a skatepark on Sunday and I noticed that Assumption Cemetery was nearby. I like to take close up pictures of angel statues so we drove by. Assumption Cemetery turned out to be a very beautiful cemetery. There were flowers everywhere. Some of the decorations were clearly Dia de los Muertos decorations. Some headstones had little altars with candles and religious figures. There were also lots of people visiting the cemetery. One woman was sitting on a bench in a family plot reading a book. Unlike the cemeteries I usually see, this was a place for the living as well as the dead.
The prettiest part was the older section. I never did get out to take angel pictures because I didn't want to intrude on the the visitors. I did snap a few pictures of sections of the cemetery that didn't include visitors, but they don't show the scale of the beauty. Usually the cemeteries with the angel statues are older cemeteries, and there aren't a lot of graves with flowers. Here, almost every grave had flowers, and you can see in the second picture that there were decorations hung in the trees.
In our family we don't have the custom of visiting the graveyard. For one thing, no one is buried close by. They're mostly far away. We do have our backyard pet cemetery decorated somewhat with flowered garden stakes. I keep planting flowers and plants there, but they don't do well since there is too much shade.
I do like the custom of building and decorating the Ofrenda and we've built them before. The Ofrenda is a family altar with photos of loved ones and pets, things they liked, flowers, candles, and other things. For more check out Dia de los Bloglandia and here.
Here is my virtual Ofrenda photo of Buddy. It's my favorite photo of him. In 2003 Buddy showed up, an apparent stray or dumped kitty. He had been abused and was very skittish. For a long time if you picked up anything in the yard he ran off an hid. Gradually we tamed him.
A week ago last Wednesday we discovered Buddy had cancer. He had been sick for a while, but we were hoping that the mass in his abdomen was a cyst or abscess, especially when he responded so well to the antibiotic. He wasn't in pain and the vet thought he might make it for a month or even the winter. But last Sunday he began going down hill rapidly and clearly was feeling very badly by Monday. On Monday we held him as he passed with the aid of the vet.
To those deceased loved ones, both named and unnamed, and those dead, both known and unknown, we call your name, we remember you, and we pray that you cross the bridge to Heaven and walk the green hills of Summerland, now and forever.