I will visit my mother's grave this week. It is ironic that my mother often asked me to record our (really she was more interested in "her" family) genealogy, and it is her records that need to be corrected. Constantly the dutiful daughter I am making the pilgrimage to Napa California next week to try to resolve my mother's misinformation. Her Social Security Index indicated she died in San Jose, she died in Napa. Correction: she was pronounced dead in Napa. I think she died in bed in her beloved room at Lake Berryessa. WE all miss her so much. After 5 years, my sister finally visited Mom's grave in 2005. It was so hard for my younger sister. How my heart ached when my sister called to tell me---The data on the gravestone is incorrect.......Mom's name spelt wrong!! Wrong dates.....
It was Mom and I who set up mom's resting place. Dad always procrastinated about making plans. After 3 years, of mother suffering with ovarian cancer, Dad still was surprised when Mom passed. He was so sure she would recover. Mom was very specific about what she wanted --- the home gave us an envelope to complete so decisions could be clear when the time would come. Mom dictated, I wrote, repeated to her what I wrote, exasperated Mother would correct me and have me rewrite and rewrite, then she would change her mind and have me rewrite or add things as she rolled the decisions over in her head again and again.
When the time came, Dad was distraught and totally taken off guard. He walked around in a daze. All official people called him, asked his desires. I quietly mentioned to Dad that I had an envelope of Mom's wishes. Dad looked at me blankly as though he was trying to understand what I said. When we went to the home, the officials brought us into a small neat office, Dad sat down and in his authoritative voice (one I was very familiar with) Dad said "This is what I want.........." Nothing he said slightly resembled the instructions in the sealed envelope. I said nothing. I realized this was now for him, Mom was gone, we needed to take care of Dad. I do remember telling my sister, when we made Dad's arrangement I planned to do a double ceremony with the music and flowers, mother had requested. So I released the responsibility----for the time being. But next week nearly 9 years later, I will try to the best of my ability to correct the Social Security Index, ask for a new gravestone, and place yellow roses on her grave.
CVGS President Gary, asked me how did I think all these mistakes were made. I did not know. I will try to find out what mishaps caused these errors. But most important, I will correct the records. Now I am a genealogist, the self-proclaimed family historian, it is my job to set the records straight. I understand how fustrating now how frustrating and crazy someone would need to go through to locate my mother. My fear is they would never find her. Each ancestor I find, I celebrate their lives, and attempt to share their lives with family. Yes, I need to set the records straight such that hundreds, and generations away family will find and cherish this remarkable woman, just as we do.