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Memorial Day Remembrance

It was a dark and wintry night when my old car coasted to a stop en route to St Joe, right in front of Michelich Granite on County Road 75.

The moon shone on the blank gravestones and I shuddered.

It felt like an omen.

I think it was.

I hitched to Kays Kitchen further up the highway and called Dad.

He was getting ready to go to a dance.

Instead he hopped into his Oldsmobile and came to my rescue. He jumpstarted my car and it worked fine the rest of the night.

A few days later Dad died suddenly. There had been no warnings. I was 18.

It was a lonely spot along the highway back then, just hurtling cars, a dark treeline, and snow-dusted headstones – memorials waiting to be chosen by grieving families.

Including ours days later.

I think of that night and my Dad whenever I pass Michelich Granite, and about how quickly life can change.

As Memorial Day approaches on May 27th, headstones and grave maintenance are top of mind.

The stones of many family members are showing their age.

Some are sinking and need new foundations. I’m in discussions with Calvary and Assumption cemeteries to ensure the graves of grandparents, parents, and aunts who died as children look good for another 50 years.

What happens after that, who knows.

As well as this heavy-duty maintenance, gravestones should be regularly cleaned.

Memorial Day is a good time of year to spend at cemeteries, tidying the graves of veterans and other loved ones and sharing family stories.

I asked Christina at Michelich Granite for advice about how best to clean granite. It's a natural stone and many of Minnesota's memorial and headstones are made from this local resource.

Michelich offers buckets to families to use when cleaning memorials, containing spray bottles and gentle cleanser, along with tips to make short work of this task.

“Most times the buckets come back to us and sometimes they don’t, but we offer it nonetheless,” Christina says.

What a lovely community service. Pop in to see the Michelich team for advice, a chat, and a bucket as Memorial Day approaches.

Photos Michelich Granite, CR75, St Cloud; djedzura, istock

One thought on “Memorial Day Remembrance”

  1. Lois Thielen says:

    Memorial Day, when we go to a local park and heat speeches and a rendering of Taps. Then we do the cemeteries, walking from relative to relative of my husband’s (St. Anna) and mine (Freeport.). We pause to remember the grandparents, the parents and in recent years the brothers. We wonder what our great-grandparents were like and the little aunts who never made it to adulthood. Finally we the Oak Station in Freeport for an ice cream cone and meander home, thinking about the family members no longer with us. It’s sort of a melancholy day but that’s what Memorial Day is about.

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