We didn't realize when we moved here that there was actually family in the area. My mother-in-law's aunt and uncle and cousins lived about thirty minutes from us! We were very glad to have family close and have really enjoyed getting to know Aunt Marilyn and her sons (unfortunately, Uncle Paul died our first winter here and we were never able to actually meet him). She is quite the record keeper and has many stories about our family history. One of the first things we learned was the story of Jonathan's grandmother, Yuvetta.
Yuvetta's first husband was a drunk and a gambler. Her family did not ever help her, and conditions were miserable. She had a little girl and they named her Andrea Leah. Little Andrea was born with heart problems, however, and became very ill. During the winter Andrea and her mother would crawl into bed together with all of their winter clothes on to keep warm. They had no food most of the time, and Yuvetta's husband would not let them have money for heating the home. Jonathan's grandfather, David, saw the situation and rescued Yuvetta and Andrea, helping them where they needed it. Yuvetta and David married in December of 1954. Barely a month later Andrea died from complications from her heart and pneumonia. A year later doctors had advanced the technology and techniques to perform the heart operation that would have saved little Andrea.
Aunt Marilyn told us that Andrea had been buried in a cemetery that we pass regularly. We finally decided we needed to go and find her. Last week we visited and had no luck but after making a couple of calls we came back today and found Andrea Leah Pemberton.
We carefully cleared off her headstone, cleaned it some, and cut away the tall grass around it. We explained to the kids that taking care of the headstones and making sure they are kept nice is a way to respect to our family and their memory.
As part of our Fun for the Family award through scouting David made a rubbing of her headstone. We talked about how old she was and talked about the sort of life she had. It made us all very grateful for the many blessings we enjoy.
Our little Andi is named after Andrea. We didn't realize until today that our Andrea and the Andrea she is named after both have "L" middle names! Quite the coincidence...
Cemeteries are always so peaceful and quiet, and a place of reverence and reflection. It was a nice activity for us on this beautiful Sunday. I'm very glad that we found her. Next time we go we'll take some flowers.