November 2023

Page A18 november 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Section A R&S MARKERS FREE Sample Upon Request CREATE CUSTOM TEMPORARY GRAVE MARKERS FOR AS LOW AS $5.25 EACH PHONE: 561.963.4732 EMAIL: INFO@RSMARKERS.COM WWW.RSMARKERS.COM 331.229.8981 FOR AS LOW AS $5.75 EACH Nadene Cover-Up Cosmetics Ltd. A name you know... ...Products you trust 800-531-9744 Fax 903-641-0383 Every year between my birthday at the end of September, and that good ol’ American Holiday of Thanksgiving, I make a point to express gratitude. Some years, I make it public posting something daily on social media, some years I send a note to a person I care about each day. This year, I’ve been lazy about it. It’s not that I’m ungrateful this year, or that nothing wonderful has happened, I’m just busy and tired. Existing in 2023 is a lot of work and by the end of the day, I don’t have patience for “self-betterment” nonsense. It’s much easier to hide in the pages of a book or get lost in the new Netflix special. I’m over my own drama, give me the angst of teenagers turning into vampires. There is certainly a time and place for dissociation into fantasy. I’m happy to take my blanket and popcorn and move right into whatever world I’m watching. A couple things happened this week that felt like a little universal slap upside the head. On a random Wednesday, I was giving fully into pity-party. I was fully giving into my feelings of existential exhaustion. Life is hard and Woe. Is. Me. Eventually, I got myself to a point where I was calmed down and ready to sleep. Then the phone rang. That was basically the end of the world. How was I supposed to get my pathetic self out of bed, suited up and out to help a family. I contemplated quitting, selling everything and moving to an island. I sucked it up and did my job. By the time I was at the house, listening to someone mourn their newly deceased person, I snapped out of it. Perspective is a hell of a thing. My woes are not invalid. I’m allowed to feel the pity, but then we move on. We and laughed about it. Weeks later that bag arrived in the mail addressed to me. So often we feel that we are the ones guiding our families and being their emotional rocks, and we are. Then they send us a gift, a thank you note, an email of appreciation and we are reminded that we are also cared for by them. My gratitude this month is for the families who put their trust and love in my care. What are you grateful for? FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Monthly Columnsonline at Marika McMeans is a first-generation Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, born and raised in the Midwest. She began her career in the industry at the age of fifteen and was managing a firm by age twenty-two. In 2015, she relocated to Rochester, New York. She is a graduate of the New York State Funeral Directors Association Leadership Academy, a member of their Bridge Commission and a past member of several Task Forces and Committees. She is the current President and Continuing Education Coordinator of Rochester Genesee Valley Funeral Directors Association. Her goal, now and always, is to help support and guide the next generation of funeral directors. realize that we have so much in life to be grateful for and humans are resilient. We watch as people survive unbelievable pain and challenges after a death. We see them years later and they are changed, but they are alive and doing well. We don’t move on, but we can move through. Later that day, standing at the front door, caffeine circulating through my body making my skin crawl but doing nothing to keep my eyes open, one of our directors’ assistants asked how I was doing. It was just the two of us waiting for Calling Hours to start. What a loaded question. I’m happy. I’m struggling. I’m excited for the future and full of dread. My response “doing as well as everyone.” We’re all experiencing life alongside each other with similar emotions. Somehow, we got on the topic of gratitude, and also fashion? I wanted to be a fashion designer way back in my youth before my real calling found me, but the love of clothes stuck. I explained how out of all the bags I own, fancy ones, antique ones, one for every outfit, my favorite is this pink tote covered in cats with unicorn horns. It’s silly and I use it more than any bag I own. Years ago, I cared for a woman whose mom died. They had a deeply close relationship and had spent the previous years caring for each other through financial and physical hardships. When the daughter stopped by to pick up mom’s cremains, she brought a pink bag with unicorn cats on it. I commented on how much I loved it. She told me that life was hard. She was desperately missing her mother and struggling with money. She didn’t have much, but she had this bag that reminded her that life can be sweet and cute, and she’d be okay. We cried By Marika McMeans Musings with Marika Continued from Front Page Woodland Cemetery Celebrates 175 Years managed by the city. The area was plotted in 1848, before the city had even incorporated and wasn’t city owned until 1864. It is the first public cemetery in Iowa. “Five land owners donated 5.5 acres on the outskirts of the city,” says Ganesh. It grew to 36 and a half acres after a land purchase from an individual. Then in 1923, the Catholic Cemetery of St. Ambrose deeded over the land and their cemetery, making Woodland a total of the 65 acres that it is today. When Ganesh first came to Woodland, they identified some challenges with the cemetery. The asphalt roads were crumbling, headstones were leaning and falling over, monuments weren’t clean, and the retaining walls that support the cemetery on two sides were crumbling. Everything’s been fixed, or is in the process of being fixed, except the retaining walls, thanks in great part to the unending assistance of cemetery volunteers, city leadership and private donations. The Woodland Cemetery Monument Restoration project came about in 2017 when two individuals recognized the problem with the headstones and offered $25,000 if the city would match it. While Continued on page A19 DIGITAL DIRECTORY Available Download instantly at Save on Shipping!