Who’s There?

Osses Dick 1888 - 1969

A promise to oneself should not be broken, but this could not be helped. The themes here have had a decided leaning towards life’s curtain call and it seemed only right to shift the focus to an earlier, and perhaps to those who read this, a more contemporary point on the timeline. Of course that was before a late afternoon walk with my wife led past a decrepit graveyard lying on a cultural boundary within our community. The sunset was filtering through the leafless stands of poplar trees and casting streaks of golden light across the scattered crosses and marker stones of this unkempt cemetery. Orderly rows can be appealing from a repeating pattern point of view, but this rundown burial ground had character and a message that came through loud and clear. By the time the light faded and I wandered back to where my wife was waiting my heart was heavy with the weight of what these grave markers were saying.

When we returned home I Googled the name Osses Dick with the hope of finding some hint of who this person was, but to no avail. An Osses Emma turned up from a census taken in 1901 and at that time she was a 21 year old lodger in someone’s home, but no one else with that surname turned up. For all its search power Google didn’t have an algorithmic shovel for this one. The orderly rows don’t run through here, the groundskeepers are most likely four legged and the lives that are memorialized are now only memorials, the faces of those passed away have long passed as a diminishing likeness upon the face of succeeding generations. The thought of these lives settled heavy upon my mind and more than once threatened to moisten my eyes. The end of all people. One person wrote that wisdom is found in the “house of mourning” because that is the end of all people and to reflect upon this will strengthen the heart. Osses Dick no longer has a voice but his broken memorial testifies loud and clear.

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