……. Our Own Making
I looked slowly around, the cemetery, with the new, quite different perspective, it now held for me.
Now, I had always been pulled to old churchyards and their cold silent headstones!
Wondering what the stories were behind the names, trying to figure out their lives by the brief clues given.
Now I would also be wondering if any of their spirits stayed still, or were prone to wandering, interfering in with mortal lives?
I started to walk around the crypt, looking at the familiar stones that lay around it.
I had not visited this cemetery since I was a much younger child.
Off away in one of the very back rows
I knew there was a gravestone upon which had been carved a rather morbid and ( for me) startling epitaph….
Stranger stop and cast an eye...
As you are now so once was I..
As I am now, so you must be...
Prepare ye for death, and so follow me...
That epitaph always reminded me of a story...
A lady had been visiting the grave of her mother and was one her way out as dusk fell.
As she walked she noticed an old man in a suit kneeling in front of a grave two rows up. He was muttering loudly as his fingers traced the words carved in the stone. As she passed it sounded like he was uttering that the “date was wrong”. She reached the road, and thinking that someone should help the old man out since it was getting dark, turned to go to him, but when she did, he had vanished into thin aire!
I shuddered a bit…
Spooky thoughts in a cemetery did not go well together, especially now!
I thought of the older two Froes boys, the ones who had died in the war, and of the picture of Frank Froes and the young girl. What had happened to her, was she buried somewhere near, had she ever visited this crypt in mourning, crying over a lost love?
Had ever any of the Froes’s ever felt, love?
Even poor Mary’s twin brother, the long-dead Joseph?
Speaking of sad love….
I walked on, soon reaching the backside of the crypt.
Directly across from the back of the Froes crypt was a large granite headstone stone, well-weathered by these many years.
Ever since I had first seen it, it has always drawn me to it every time I visited this dreary place. I walked up to it again, the old carvings still quite visible.
It contained the body of a 35-year-old captain who had been killed during the second Boer War
I read the words underneath his name:
Beloved Husband, Father, Son…
Beneath This inscription name was the name of poor Reginald’s wife,
Elisabeth Johns –Beckett
was another quite haunting inscription
Life’s Greatest loss isn’t Death…Its Greatest Loss is what dies inside us while we live.
Then underneath that was
Until we me again, love of my life, my greatest loss.
I looked up again at her name
Elisabeth Johns -Beckett
There had been no death date the last time I had been there, and they’re still wasn’t now!
I always wondered why? For Elisabeth’s birth date was now some 115 years ago, so she was now decidedly no longer among the living.
Was she buried there, and no one ever inscribed the date, or had she met another love of her life, and moved on, leaving poor Reginald, forgotten?
On either side were empty plots, and no other graves nearby held the name of Elisabeth, or Beckett, so not even Reginald’s child(ren?) were buried near!
Poor Reginald had fallen on the field, had he also fallen out of Love?
Prepare ye for death, and so follow me...
But no one was following poor Reginald Beckett.
So the question would now be, dose Reginald comes out searching for his lost love….?
As I said, I always was wondering what the stories were if the graves could talk…and now I was starting to freak out that some, on certain dark nights, they may speak out!
I turned sadly away.
I looked back over my shoulder.
Jess and Uncle were still talking.
I then walked the few steps to the back of the Froe’s crypt….
There was the barred back window, with the lower section opened.
I could see the wisteria vine was running along with it, so it had been opened for some time, probably the vine entering a crack and wedging open the lower section.
I went up to the open window, looking at the stained glass. I stepped on a twig, hearing it snap as I moved closer.
It sure was quite silent in that place this dreary morning.
The glass was a pattern of the Froes crest, an old moss rose vine. Its green thorny leaves curling up and around a white marble column, open roses laying on top.
No idea what its meanings were.
I found it interesting that another vine, wisteria, had grown up and around the crypt, was forcing open the window up a crack.
I stepped back, feeling the twig crack again underfoot, I look down…
It wasn’t a twig atoll, but an old, weathered crayon, red!
What an odd thing to be laying here I remembered thinking, my mind at the time not making any connection.
I meandered back towards the front of the crypt, walking on the opposite side this time.
There was no gravestone on this side of it, just green grass falling down the hill to the old wrought iron fencing with its wicked-looking, nastily sharp, top spikes!
I again stood at the bottom of the steps, looking up at the crypt with the Froes name etched on the doors mantle.
The door still was open…
Uncle had not closed and locked it yet.
Looking up at the blackness within the crypt, with its 5 bodies waiting for the day of judgment, unless they decided not to wait that long?
Only one Froes left alive, Joseph the second.
My mind went to the mysteriously vanished Frank; I imagined a very old man, in a suit, crawling up the moonlit path to the Froes crypt, reaching it, knocking to be let in….
Again I shivered, enough of that Girl I scolded myself as I walked again up the 3 stoned stops leading to the Froes crypt’s opened door.
I looked over again at Jesse and my Uncle, now walking off a bit as they talked…
Had they forgotten that I was even there I wondered?
I shivered, looking inside the vaults murky depths, thinking of that old broken crayon….
I looked inside, the rows of crypts, now barely visible...
I could see the name of poor young Joseph, and wondered what it had all been about, the happenings over the weekend at the dreary old Froes house.
And then I froze, sensing movement in the shadows...
Before I could properly react, I distinctly heard it, from the back recesses, the doll-like child’s singsong voice coming from the darkness deep within…
“Time to sleep….”
I didn’t move, could it be here?
Then, closer this time, it spoke again, a little sharper, no less spooky.
The utterance of a single word...