This week as I was looking through some of my genealogy research and deciding where to store it all, I came across a large zippered pouch courtesy of Foster Funeral Home in Portsmouth, Virginia. Inside was my grandparents’ funeral “stuff”: Guest books. Sympathy cards. Cards attached to floral remembrances. Even a warranty from the casket company. Yeah, that’s a keeper.
I opened each wrinkled and torn envelope, and held lovely old cards of vellum. Messages penned in blue expressed sadness and also memories of good times. Cards once attached to sprays described the gladiolas, mums, carnations, and other flowers sent to remind us that we were not alone in our grief. Suddenly I was smiling.
Nostalgia? Perhaps. But I realize the names are also clues that might advance my family research. Names grouped together indicate a possible family connection. One person signing for another practically guarantees to seal the deal. What’s a family historian to do? Start digging!
“Who came to the funeral?” will be my contribution to the A to Z April Challenge.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.