Memorial Day – Flowers for the Graves

We are the benefactors of true wealth – family love and beautiful memories.

For as long as I can remember, just before Memorial Day, my mother, her twin sister, and their younger sister, loaded the van with flowers and drove a three hundred mile loop around central and western Oklahoma to lay flowers upon the graves of many of our relatives. For years, no one was allowed to go along. It was their day alone to sing old songs and be together with memories of family who had died and visit places of their childhood.

Later, different ones would go along to drive them. I’ll never forget the years that I joined them on our “Family Memorial Run”.  From the moment we hit the road, it was as though they turned into little girls again; being silly, giggling, and singing all their old favorite songs as we drove. But their love for family resonated as they lovingly groomed the graves and placed bouquets of flowers on each one.

Now, my mother and her twin are first on the list for flowers as my daughter and I lovingly groom their graves. Mother’s surviving sister still enjoys visiting the local graves. Her memories are clear, her sharing family stories are treasured, and she still beautifully sings all the old songs.

In memory of my mother, Elsa Rector Leatherwood, and Aunt Eva Rector Leatherwood.



James Franklin Leatherwood and Mattie America Stewart, my great grandparents

The following pages are taken from my book, Family Trees and Memories. Homestead documents, land deed, census, and civil war records are included. I would love to know more about my great grandfather, particularly about his life after the civil war. He had a family prior to marrying Grandma Mattie. I would be interested in any information regarding those years.