The front door was open with the window glass pane of the storm door allowing a peek at what was inside. I pulled in front of the neighbors house and knocked on their door. After verifying that this was the same family that I had sat on the side porch during my stay over thirty-five years ago, asked if I could come in for a moment? A little perplexed the neighbor verified who I was, the granddaughter of Robert F Hauck, Sr., their neighbor, and let me in with slight hesitation. The emotion overcame me and I held back the tears. I asked if they knew where my Grandmother was buried? They did not as Grandma was buried over the holidays when most people were celebrating Christmas and New Years with loved ones. They asked if I wanted to go knock on the door of their neighbor, my Grandfather. Nooooo. I couldn't do it. After the pain he had caused for over fifteen years, I couldn't bare the thought of him slamming the door in my face if I even attempted to talk to him. Truth is, my Grandmother's features have arrived on my face like the storm front, prepared and unprepared for such likeness, I thought I may spook him by showing up at his door step. At ninety-three, to have the likeness of your deceased wife show up may have been the straw that broke his back. I didn't want to be the cause of him having a heart attack....although I could have done so, it just simply wasn't the right thing to do.
The neighbor confirmed that Grandma was heart-broken over not being able to see her son before her death and his children (my sister and I) which gave me the strength to march on and begin my own grieving process after four and one-half years of not being afforded the opportunity. I had not been told, I had been left in the dark. As the oldest granddaughter, the one who grew up with my Grandma and Grandpa at an age where they weren't "too old" to relate to, I loved them both. I grew to hate the actions of my Grandpap but love the man. Just as I had grown to hate the actions of my own father but love the man. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree in the Hauck men generations.
Onstar took me to the funeral home that held the services for my Grandmother. This is where I was given the information I had been looking for. My Grandmother was buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Make a safe and legal U-turn. I had been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Make a right on Verona Road. Grandma, it appeared was buried in the other direction of their house. The house looked exactly the same as it had for over seventy years. It is amazing however that as a child, the houses we grew up in and then revisit when we get older seem to look smaller. They are so big when we are kids. Make a right on Mt. Carmel Road. I stopped at a local gardening shop but they were out of the day lilies. I continued. Make a right and you have arrived at your destination.
|The deer had begun walking to the right|
|I searched every upright gravestone|
|There are 29 sections in the cemetery and I searched them all|
|The headstones were beautiful, even the older ones from the 180|
I prayed for a sign, where is my Grandmother, and a fawn appeared at the bottom of the side of the mountain where most of the headstones were from the early 1900's. It is the spot I was told by a man cleaning off his own mother's grave where all the German Catholics were buried. It appeared that the Catholics were buried by their ethnic heritage, Italians...lots of Italians, Irish, Spanish [from Spain], German and even Jews with names like Weiss and Maidoff. The Bertoluccis, Daluccis, Romanos, Companos...were everywhere. The fawn had lead me to the Stumpfs, the Weinhosslers, the Mauses but when I got to the bottom of the hill, the fawn ran back up the hill around me in a huge circle and I started to run after her to follow where she had went. I didn't understand what she was telling me. I went back to the Tomnays and noticed that there was a fake white floral arrangement on their grave. I was sure that my Aunt who put it there probably would put that same flower on my Grandmothers grave. I continued in the sweltering heat to find that flower. As the sun started to descend, I realized I needed to go find a place to stay over night as it was Sunday and it was becoming increasingly obvious I was going to have to spend the night. I needed the office personnel to tell me the plot number and section number. As good as the deer had been, I guess I was just too tired to understand.
|My Grandmother's Parents and her sister who died a few months after she did.|
The hotel also was right next to Primanti Brother's Restaurant. I was going to have a sandwich of my own for dinner. If you've ever been to Pittsburgh, you know about this famous restaurant chain. Started in 1933 by the Primanti Brothers, it was actually a stand on the side of the road that sold sandwiches. A customer delivered a bag of potatoes and asked them if they would cut a couple up for him and fry them. Mr. Primanti, did that, put them ON the sandwich with the usual coleslaw and the sandwich was born. Every sandwich served at Primanti's has coleslaw AND french fries between the two pieces of bread with the main meat. I ordered the Genoa Salami and cheese. After hiking over ten miles chasing waterfalls and eating salads and fruits, my body loved this delicious sandwich. It was to die for and if I was going to die, at least I was going to be at the right place to do it, I was going to the cemetery in the morning.
I arose at 5:30 AM, truth was I couldn't really sleep anyway as I had looked at EVERY single headstone in that huge cemetery and couldn't find her. I stopped at Lowes and got a beautiful Day Lily and a gardener's shovel. I pressed the Onstar button and made my way. At 6:45 AM I pulled into the cemetery and saw a red pick up truck by my Great Maternal Grandparents grave. I drove up to what appeared to be an employee from Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Tony was his name and I asked him if he could help me as I was up from Florida and couldn't find my Grandmother's grave. He asked me to let him finish watering his grandparents grave and he would meet me at the office. I thanked him and we did just that.
|Grandma, Clara A. named after her mother Clara Anastasia|
|My Grandfather's Parents Aloysius J. Hauck, Sr. and Mary C [Maus]|
As I said my goodbyes I felt the breeze on my face and smiled. Grandma would appreciate the breeze that day and I prayed that she appreciated the day lily. They call them day lilies because they are only perfect for just one day. And this morning, with the flower, the wind, and Tony Turner it was just that...perfect. I love and miss you Grandma and your "warsh" cloths.