Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chapter 17 - Beloved Mother And Sister

Glogirly and Dorothy said their goodbye's to Jim, Armie, Craig and Angela. Glogirly promised to come back soon. They drove down the winding dirt trail through the two cattle gates and onto the main road, Clark Valley Road. Glogirly thought about her grandfather and how he had built the very road they were driving on. The ranch property became smaller and smaller in the rear window as they drove away. Two miles down, at the end of the curvy road was the highway that would take them back north, towards the San Francisco airport.

But first there was one last stop to make. Just across the highway from Clark Valley Road was Los Osos Memorial Park, the cemetery where Glogirly's grandparents, Dorothy's husband Larry, Jeanette's husband Charles were all laid to rest. This was also the cemetery where Alice was buried.

Glogirly's grandfather, Richard H. Beecham, built the original cemetery.

Dorothy brought Glogirly over to the mausoleum where her grandparents were. Richard Harvey Beecham and Nevah Arthur Beecham. Glogirly never really had grandparents. Only her dad's mother was alive at the time she was adopted and she passed away before Glogirly was old enough to remember her much. She stood there watching Dorothy, reading the names of her grandparents. She walked over to the wall and ran her hand over the smooth letters of their names.

Dorothy and her parents, Glogirly's grandparents.
Richard H. and Nevah B. Beecham.

Everyone she'd met told Glogirly that she must have inherited her artistic and musical talent from her grandmother, Nevah. Nevah was a painter and an artist. She could play any musical instrument she laid her hands on, just by ear. None of her children really inherited that talent though. Glogirly's adoptive parents were not artistic either. They loved music, but couldn't play it. They encouraged Glogirly's art, but couldn't draw or paint themselves. Glogirly was different. She was born with a gift and loved everything from crayons to paint. She brought drawing paper and pastels on every family vacation. Art was her favorite subject in school. She later went to college for design and art. Even now, she uses her artistic talent everyday. When Glogirly took piano lessons, her teachers told her that she had a natural gift few people had. She connected with the music she played in a way that captivated the listener. It was a gift. And that gift had to have come from somewhere. Glogirly believes it came from Nevah.

They walked over to Dorothy's husband's grave. Glogirly thought about her search and finding the death records for Dorothy and Jeanette's husbands. They were just words on a computer screen then, but seeing Dorothy standing at her husband's grave was something quite different and much more powerful than words.

The last grave they visited was Alice's. What Glogirly saw, shook her to her core. She could hardly breathe. She couldn't speak. The only movement came from the tears that were streaming down her face.

The marker on Alice's grave was a sad, little metal frame. It measured about 5 inches by 7 inches. Rusted and bent from the elements, with grass reaching out from the inside corners, it held a torn piece of plastic over a sheet of paper. Typed on the stained paper: "Alice M. Beecham 1936-1996."


Glogirly's heart physically ached. The woman that had given birth to her, had sacrificed so much to give her a chance at a life with a loving family, had nothing more than a temporary grave marker. It was as if her life hadn't mattered.

Dorothy felt terrible. She explained that someone was to have arranged for an appropriate marker, said they did, but apparently never had. She didn't even know until then.

Glogirly took out her camera and photographed Alice's frame. It was all she had of her.

She and Dorothy walked to the car in silence and then left for the airport.

It was a few miles before either of them spoke. Glogirly had an idea. But she needed to contain her emotions so she could speak without falling apart. When she was ready she told Dorothy that she wanted to do something with her. Then it was as if they were inside each other's thoughts. Almost in unison, Dorothy and Glogirly said to each other that they wanted to get a proper marker for Alice's grave. Glogirly said it would mean a great deal to her to be able to do it with Dorothy. Dorothy couldn't agree more. She said Alice had loved roses and they should pick one that had roses on it. Alice was spiritual and devoted to her church. A cross would be nice too.

Glogirly added that her full name should appear on the marker. Alice Mae Beecham. Glogirly's adoptive mother's name was Eunice Mae. It was a small connection that she wanted to honor.

Then Dorothy added one more thing. She reached over and took Glogirly's hand. "It should read, Beloved Mother & Sister."

And so it did.

Beloved Mother and Sister

The End

For Dorothy

Glogirly's story is far from over. It continues to unfold even today.
Please come back soon for the Epilogue.


  1. Oh my word Katie...Glogirly sure did tell an awesome story...if she doesn't already, consider writing...she had a captured audience over here
    Benny & Lily

  2. Glogirly, you are a good girl - we know your mom would be proud of you for sharing this story. We are glad that you have found so many lovely new family members too.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  3. Ohh you made Rumblemummy tear up. What an amazing story, thank you for sharing.

  4. That was a beautiful story. I have loved reading it.

    Hufflemum Tracey

  5. Wow, what an amazing story of love and forgiveness! That was an incredible journey!

  6. This is just so moving, that Glogirly could do that one thing for her mother.

    I have a feeling a great healing is taking place in the family now xox

  7. It's a shame Alice never got to meet Glogirly. Sometimes life isn't fair. What a beautiful marker. We have to find a publisher out there since Glogirly is not only artistic and musical but has a way with words too. Bravo! Can't wait to read what Katie has been up to!

  8. Reading this brought tears to my eyes! That was a wonderful thing for Glogirly to do for Alice :-).

  9. I've been reading along but haven't had much time to comment. That was quite the story! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  10. What an amazing and touching story. The new grave marker is lovely. Katie, thank you for sharing Glogirly's story with us.

  11. It's all about love, past, present, and future. It seems like a path whose purpose was not only for learning about yourself but to bring closure and to make sure you were brought to your birth Mom's place of rest to honor her with the proper marker for her. Just such a lovely story. We are crying again...

  12. Glogirly, you are an inspiration. This story is simply wonderful--I really can't write any more for the tears! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. You have us all welled up in tears over here. What a lovely way to honor your Mom.

  14. That was awesome. I can't imagine how you must have felt when you saw that temporary marker. You set it right.

  15. That is a beautiful marker for Alice's grave. We enjoyed Glogirly's story very much, and it gave our mum more than a few tears.

  16. Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. That's just so sad..... nobody had even been to the cemetery for so long it makes you wonder why anybody has nice markers made up at all sometimes doesn't it? I can't believe Dorothy didn't go on occasion. ... ...and the paper would not have lasted forever.... thank goodness you found it when you did..... it is beautiful that your Mom has a proper marker now... for anybody in the future who would like to visit her.

    A lovely story with such a happy ending.....

  18. Oh my goodness, the ending made my eyes leak. What a beautiful gesture to give her that lovely marker.

  19. I have sat here and read your beautiful story for the last several hours, walking away and coming back because I had to stop what I was doing and finish. Thank you so much for sharing it with your readers and online friends. I love the marker you chose, its so perfect. Thank you Debbie.


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