In an effort to spend more one on one time with my son and expose him more to the family history and the thrill of the discovery, we went cemetery hopping again yesterday morning. The day began with the usual nine year old, “I don’t want to go…….” routine. I insisted he go anyway and that it would be fun. Once on the road for our roughly 20 minute drive to Mt. Carmel and Queen of Heaven in Hillside, the conversation turned to music then to what we would do on our outing. My son quickly forgot he didn’t want to go.
We arrived at Queen of Heaven and used the kiosk to look up some names. My son loves using the kiosk. Then we spoke to a man working in the office and were given section maps! I wish all the Catholic cemeteries in Chicago gave you section maps. He marked the map with a nice red X where our grave should be for the sections with which we needed assistance. This made looking for the graves so much easier. Next time we go to St. Adalbert’s, I will make the suggestion they give out section maps.
In addition to the new graves I wanted to visit, I took him by a few family graves he had only seen in photos. His interest intensified as he learned more about the people in our family.
My son was in charge of the camera again because I want him to learn to take good photos of the graves. Complete photos of the graves, not cutting parts off. Overall he did fairly well yesterday with the stones in the ground. The directions, “I want to see grass on all sides so I can crop the photo later,” seemed to help. He still needs to work on his monument photos because his skill at fitting the entire monument in needs additional practice.
After our visit to both cemeteries we stopped at Panera for a snack and to talk about who we found, what he thought was interesting, and what we could do for the next trip up there. It was a great morning spent together and I think we are both learning a lot. He is learning more about research and photography and I’m learning to be a better teacher. I treasure these moments we have together because it seems like just “yesterday” he was born and “tomorrow” he will be going off to college.
These photos are of a Mary Fratto who died as a child. I am not sure if she belongs in my family but I wrote her information down and we photographed her grave just in case. I cropped her photo from a larger grave photo but my son took the other photos. He is getting better!