Saturday, January 2, 2021

Wakes, Away, way back

  Memorable Automobiles from The Past:

1906 Mason Car. (It is hard for me not to say Mason Jar)  Same company methinks.

For Today...

My dad would answer when asked when he was born, “I was born January 0h-three, (Or just 3)!” He NEVER mention the 1900 part. Now that I think of it I wonder if the coming years our Great Granddaughter Elsie will say I was born in 8 ? Or Great GD Stella, “I was born in 12!”

Most people my age know very little about the lives of their Great Grandparents. Families of yester years were different than today because of the large families. Grandma Darnell was pregnant a couple times when my mama was. Therefore my brothers were older than some their Uncles.

I even played 'cars' in the dirt with an uncle. Daddy’s sister married one of my mama’s nephews. Making their son Bobby and I double cousins.

Bobby and I are the last of our families, the rest have passed on. I don’t make resolutions, but I haven’t seen Bobby since Aunt Aggie’s funeral. Formal funerals and wakes won’t happen again in our lifetimes I guess, so I am hoping I can get down to Greenville, SC to see Bobby in 2021. For years our families never had reunions, but the funerals became just that.

Cousin Bobby O'Shields and I (I am jealous of the hair)

Some who read this trivia have never attended a wake. There was a time in ancient history (Up until the 1960s) down South the body of the deceased spent their last night at home lying in an open casket. Someone was awake all night with the body so they would not be alone. By the time I was an adult, wakes were a thing of the past.

Cakes, cookies, ‘nannerpudding’ and real food abounded along with sweet tea and coffee. Wakes were actually a festive occasion. Cousins played in the yards while aunts, uncles’ parents and grands visited bringing everyone up to date since the last wake.

Our families were scattered from mid Georgia to the Virginia line. I can remember the special treat would be a having a family member in uniform home for the funeral; that was special.

Kids and family grabbed naps and crashed anyplace they could find; Pallets, cars, porches, chairs, etc.

Some things I really miss.


PS .  For many years traditional families fought the idea of a family member spending their last night above ground alone in a funeral home.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sad but true sometimes a funeral is the only time we see some realties. It is in a way a family reunion, when the family gathers to say good bye to a loved one We should all make it a point to visit more often, not on such a sad occasion, We mean well, but time gets away from us. Time and distance often makes a lot of difference in who we see when. Wakes may be a thing of the past, but I for one would not want to sit overnight with a loved one lying there dead. I'm grateful for funeral homes that now take it over.

Chatty Crone said...

I remember all that. People used to dress the front door of their house in black and put on black bands around the arms. Wear black. Now we hurry the mourning process on quickly.

Dar said...

Funerals did too often turn into a family reunion of sorts. We've had so many. Several years back, myself and my siblings, arranged a cousins reunion for Mom and her cousins at the farm, everyone bringing a family favorite to pass at the outside table under an open tent. Wow, were we surprised at how far some traveled for the appreciated event. It's hard to get everyone together so when it happens as a happy occasion, it's even more special. Jack, you and your cousin Bobby are nearly identical from your eyes down...What a pleasure to be so alike.
loven'hugs from up north where my twin Doug and I have the same receding hairline. lol

Mevely317 said...

I've always heard the term, "Wake", but never gave it much thought. (Funny, my uncle being an undertaker.) Maybe they're a Southern tradition?

I may be blogging about it -- not sure -- but the recent death of a dear friend prompted two, 2-hour phone conversations with former co-workers/friends. One, I've not seen in 28 years! Joe, who now lives in Longwood (far from y'all maybe?) has asked that I hurry up and get vaccinated so he can round up a little reunion.

betty said...

I have never been to a wake; it would be interesting to ask my mom if she had been to one, but of course that's one of those unanswered questions we as children often have after our parents pass. Do go see your cousin this year if everyone is healthy! Sounds like a great resolution for the new year!


yaya said...

Even though our family never had a deceased member stay in the house, we called the time folks visited at the funeral home the "wake". Now it's "calling" hours. It was always a huge family gathering. When Mom passed last year only 10 were allowed at the funeral home and church. Plus riots were going on all around and police sirens went off all night and through the service. Worst day ever. Yep, I'm glad 2020 is calling hours for it! Happy New Year you two!