When I was 3 months old my father became the sexton (caretaker, gravedigger, etc.) of Lone Oak Cemetery in Lewisburg. The cemetery furnished a house for the sexton, so we moved in. We lived there until I was 3. That was when my father went to work for London Funeral Home. As a child I often stopped by the funeral home on my way from school to my grandmother's home.
My family moved to the funeral home when I was in my early teens. That is where we lived when my husband and I were dating. My sons used to go visit just as other children visited their grandparents. They even slid down the bannisters. However, most grandparents don't live upstairs over a funeral home.
My father taught my mother how to drive while we were living in the cemetery. When it came time for me to learn to drive, my mother took me back to the cemetery. Twelve years later she took my sister there also. I suppose it was because we couldn't hurt anyone.
Daddy and Aubrey Duncan bought the funeral home in Lewisburg and then built a new funeral home in Cornersville. My parents moved to their own home in 1986. In 1990 my mother died, but Daddy continued to work at London's and also at Cornersville Funeral Home until his death in 1999.
If you are ever at London's in Lewisburg, there is a picture collage of my father in different phases of his life. There are 2 pictures of me with him. One is of my sister and me with him the first Christmas after our mother died. You won't recognize me in the other because I was 5 and am standing between my parents. Daddy is in his World War II uniform.
I always read the obituaries, even if I'm out of town and don't know people. It's just part of my life. I have phone numbers of a few funeral homes in my PDA under the abbreviation "Fun homes," which is how we identify one when we spot it on the side of the road. So I sometimes get a bit flippant about the funeral home. I do know when to be proper.
To this day I love old cemeteries. The one in Macon, GA fascinates me. I want to go back and spend some time there. It seems we are always going somewhere when we drive through Macon. I guess those people buried in Macon were going somewhere too.