We Found Them

It was a peaceful place for an afternoon visit to a Shelby County cemetery in eastern Texas.

An old black and white of our family decedents bore the images of relations we’d never met. Their stories had been newly discovered by a family member they’d never met either. One in their future still yet to be born (my older sister) who had researched the old records just to find them.

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Located beyond the outside edges of the nearest town, down a narrow unpaved road, we drove until we came upon the gates of North Jericho. As a search party of four we traipsed through the burial grounds on a quest for a name; John Day.

There were all the usual signs of the ravages of time having taken their toll through the years. An overturned urn, a broken headstone or two, the lichen’s eery growth patterns rendering heartfelt sentiments practically unreadable on some of the ancient memorial stones. Two centuries of Texas sun, rain and snow had collectively reduced the once sharply engraved lettering to a nearly illegible text. With our fingers we traced the weathered names and dates that were long ago etched into stone. Names of our family we’ll never know. But John Day was there. It wasn’t your typical family reunion but it was a meaningful one. The conclusion to a search. . . and we found them!