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A Grandmother's Assistance
9 May 2009 | Libertyville, IL
I took the uploaded photo of my grandparents' grave on 9 May 2009. I hadn't been back to the cemetery since my grandmother died in 1981. But I'm working on a novel that in part draws from my Serbian heritage on my mother's side of the family, and I thought a visit to the St. Sava Serbian Monastery and cemetery would provide some inspiration for the story.
I had a vague recollection of where the plot was located, and I was absolutely sure the marker was in the western alphabet, not Cyrillic. I couldn't find the grave as I walked the rows and so I did what so many genealogists do -- I started asking my grandparents for help (internally -- not out loud!).
My gaze fell on a stone, and I saw the name 'Aneta' -- but since it was in the Cyrillic alphabet, I thought it was the wrong stone, and I kept on walking. My 4-foot 11-inch grandmother must have wanted to kick the backside of my 5-foot 6-inches right then and there.
A few minutes later I called my mother, and she told me the marker was in Cyrillic, not the western alphabet. DOH!
Finally knowing that, I did manage to find the grave again.
So I wanted to take the time to thank my grandmother publically for her help, both in finding the grave and in providing inspiration and ideas for the book.
By the way, I wasn't completely wrong about the use of the western alphabet on the grave. The marker for my grandfather's World War I service is in English. That must be what I had remembered.