There is an old cemetery that I like to visit with my camera. Amongst all the many markers there, one stands all alone. It is the gravestone of Mary E. There is no date on the stone, but it appears to be quite old. How old, exactly I cannot say, but the cemetery became part of the city here in 1872. (Prior to that it was a private cemetery.) It is adorned with what appears to be a rose near the top. The stone of Mary E has been broken in half, perhaps from age, perhaps due to vandals.
I wonder who was Mary E? Was she a farmer’s wife, a mother, a teacher or nurse, or perhaps an independent self sufficient woman? Was she even old enough to have reached womanhood yet, or had she lived a good many many long years?
I picture a lovely woman with long flowing blonde hair, wearing a long puffy sleeved ivory blouse with a long grey skirt and ankle high boots that button up the side. She sits at an antique Singer pedal style sewing machine by the light of an oil lamp. I feel as though she lived in an entirely different era, centuries ago.
How long has her stone been there, standing alone, set apart from all the others? She must have been as lovely as the flower engraved at the top and I hope that at some point, someone must have loved her dearly.
I don’t know who Mary E was, but she is an old soul and I am compelled to visit her whenever I go there.
Another year has come and gone, the search appears to be over, the news coverage is over. Will another year go by without another mention of a missing girl named Trudy Appleby? Please remember her every day, not just once a year in August. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.
Thoughts go back to a day when a little spitfire of a girl appeared in our yard. What day it was exactly, I do not recall. Her name…Trudy. She lived down the street and wanted to know if any kids lived in our house. (Not shy, that one.) It did not take long for young Trudy to become a regular at our place, and it was not uncommon to look out the front door on any given day to see her skipping down the road to visit. She became very fast friends with my oldest daughter, and she was very good with my youngest daughter (who by the way adored Trudy). Trudy absolutely loved little ones. Trudy and my son on the other hand….they bickered almost like they were actual siblings, constantly teasing…. perhaps because they were so close in age. A more spunky little girl there could not be….full of life, sharp as a tack, full of love, and always and forever seeing the good in people. She wore a yin yang necklace all the time because she would say for all the bad in the world, there is more good. A special little girl, that one. Then, one day, as suddenly as she appeared, she disappeared. August 21, 1996 was the exact day I do recall and this left such a feeling I cannot describe. The entire neighborhood (who grew to absolutely adore this little girl) watched and waited…for something, anything. We looked out the doors, hoping to see “our girl” (as she is known to some of us) skipping down the road to visit. We looked everywhere we went, hoping to catch a glimpse of her, but that never happened. A big empty hole was left in our hearts, our neighborhood, our lives. Now, 16 years later, we are watching and waiting still, and thoughts go back to a day when a little spitfire of a girl appeared in our yard and such a feeling I cannot describe.
Remember the missing.
Trudy Appleby disappeared August 21,1996 from the Quad Cities area in IL.
I dreamed I was in a movie with John Cena of the WWE. I was an FBI agent hired to investigate the untimely death of the John Cena character’s wife and son outside a bus. While holding up in his house, there were giant snowman decorations in his kitchen. They suddenly exploded *poof!* and turned into a thick cloud of glitter filling the room.