Cindy (my eldest daughter) and I went down to Colma today to visit the gravesites of some relatives. We started out at Olivet Memorial Park, hoping to find my mother’s father.
Karl Lindblom (1891-1956) was born in Finland to (I think) Swedish-speaking parents. He was a carpenter on the ships and met my grandmother in San Francisco in the late 30s or early 40s. I’m not sure when they married. Karl died when my mother was 13 years old. My grandmother remarried a few years later, an Alejandro Gonzalez, a Spaniard (Gallego to be exact), the man I consider my grandfather.
While snooping around on ancestry.com, I came across the bill for the funeral home that took care of Karl’s burial. It had grave information, something I had never even considered. It had never dawned on me that my mother’s father might actually be buried somewhere. Afterall, it was never mentioned by my grandmother or my mother.
Armed with this new information, I decided it merited a drive down to Colma. So Cindy was a sport and offered to go with me. We got to Olivet Memorial Park and easily found section M. Then it got confusing. After a bit of searching and talking to a “counselor,” we learned that poor Karl does not have a headstone. 😦
(This is where Karl is buried, without a marker.)
The woman told us there could be any number of reasons there was no headstone: my grandmother didn’t have money, she never got around to it, she was making payments but then stopped, etc. The woman encouraged us to put a headstone in place, and said it’d probably be about $2500. My mother, as next of kin, would have to take care of the arrangements.
Well, sorry, Karl. As much as I’d love to get you a proper headstone, I don’t have the money to spare, I’m sure my mother doesn’t either, and Mom is a bit emotionally unstable to deal with this, I’m sure.