Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's in a name?

My maternal grandfather wasn't related to me by blood but he was the only grandfather I ever knew.  He married my grandmother when my mother was five-years old. His first wife died of breast cancer when their son was about 7 years old.  My grandfather married my grandmother when his son was about ten.

My mother adored her new father and brother.  She would follow her stepfather everywhere he went.  He built her a beautiful little kitchen set for their first Christmas together as a family and she cherished it all her life.

My grandfather was a very quiet man but was always willing to play a game of tic-tac-toe or hangman with my brother and I.  Sometimes he would just sit and tell us tall tales about his days as a prison guard often scaring the bejeebers out of us.

Grand dad was 17 years older than our grandmother.  He died when I was 15 years old.  He had been sick for awhile when he asked my grandmother to promise that he would be buried next to his first wife.  Now he and my grandmother had been married 42 years by this time and I can only imagine how my grandmother must have felt to hear this request.  My grandmother had lost a child when she was married to her first husband and had always planned to be buried next to her little girl.  When my grand dad told her where he wanted to be buried he also requested that my grandmother be buried on the other side of him when she died.  It was hard but my grandmother promised to fulfill both his wishes.

I didn't remember much about his funeral or noticing the marker next to his.  But when my grandmother died I was twenty-two years old.  I was standing at her grave site and looked at my grandfather's grave next to hers.  Then I noticed the grave on the other side of him.  I was astonished.  I had never known his first wife's name until that day.  It was Ida Marie Lessel!  On my grandmother's grave it was marked......Ida Marie Lessel!  They had the exact same name.  

Now what are the chances of that?


Judy (kenju) said...

Almost none, I'll wager. How odd.

My mom died in 1985 and my dad remarried (age 88) in the early 90's. He asked to be buried next to my mom and she said okay - then she went and bought the plot on the other side of him (which was reserved for me - although I didn't want it). The cemetery pulled a fast one. On her headstone (she is still alive and in her 90's) it reads
Beloved wife.... I say BS! They were only married 4 years and my dad lived to regret the day he met her. It galls me every time I see it.

Muffy's Marks said...

How strange is that. Gives me goose bumps!

Arkansas Patti said...

How interesting and unusual. That is not a common name like Mary.
I used to enjoy touring graveyards and often saw mulitple wives in the same plot. I always wondered if they compared notes.