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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Downton Abbey Giveaway and Hollywood

Click here for the Downton Abbey Giveaway.

For the first time in years, I was able to visit family over Christmas and, as a gift, my Beloved Sistah took me to visit Dave's grave. He's buried beside Cathy, his first wife who died of cancer in the late 1980's and both are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Hollywood is named for the large numbers of holly trees that adorn the 135 acre garden cemetery.

It was designed in 1847 by Philadelphian John Notman and three, perhaps more, American presidents, six Virginia governors, two Supreme Court justices, twenty-two Confederate generals and more than 18,000 Confederate soldiers are laid at rest. Adult graves were sold for $4 and children graves for $2 but in 1864 the prices were raised to $20 and $10 and since 1954 funerals are allowed Monday through Saturday only. Needless to say, prices are higher these days and Arlington Cemetery receives the most visitors in the nation with Hollywood being second.

An estimated 7,000 Confederate soldiers were re-interred from Gettysburg to a location in the Soldier's Section called Gettysburg Hill; if you'd like to take a virtual tour of the cemetery, click here.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Varina Howell Davis, his second wife, and Varina Anne Davis, his daughter, are buried below

and, in other sections, Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler.

Hollywood is the most beautiful cemetery I've ever been in; at every turn, especially in the older section, the memorials, markers and wordings tug at the heartstrings.

"They that wonder shall reign
and they that reign shall rest."
(reads one inscription)

A portion of the movie The Jackal was filmed in this cemetery and for more Hollywood Cemetery history click here; for a list of notable residents, click here. There are a variety of tours, here, including walking, driving your own vehicle, trolley and Segway with one of the favored sights a cast iron statue of a full size Newfoundland dog who guards the grave of a little girl who died in 1862.

The Talmud says, "man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth - which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives - they go only as far as the grave and leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave."

~ James River at Richmond, VA, Lee Bridge in background ~

And so it was with Dave; his good deeds, his good name, his honor and integrity have all gone beyond the grave. He's remembered as a good, fair, decent and kind man and, better yet, he's remember by me as making his peace with God only five days prior to his death. I've often wondered: did he have a premonition of his death?

When Dave was released from cancer treatment, I bundled him up to bring him home, a drive of six hours, but an hour from home, he crashed. I managed to get him to the nearest emergency room where the ER folks went into high gear as they got him into the hospital and began working to bring him back but he stayed in the ICU for a week, the hospital one night, before I could bring him home.

These handful of years later, I've come to realize Dave knew more than he ever told me. He let me do the hard business of taking care of him, his medications, his medical appointments, home health care, etc. while he kept his own council. Some days I prayed like a crazed woman as I drove the car to the back porch, then handled Dave, the oxygen tanks, the blankets and all the other paraphernalia while battling snow, ice and high winds.

Those harsh winter days were sheer misery. His energy level was zero and often he leaned on me as we both struggled to go from house to porch to car to doctor's offices, hospital and back again. I took care of him as he'd taken care of Cathy and the circle was complete when I took him back to Richmond to Hollywood Cemetery to lay him beside her.

As I stood at his grave, I waited for the emotions to overwhelm me but they never came. Dave isn't there, beside Cathy's grave; they're both in heaven and, for me, Dave is here, at the farm where every stone and blade of grass reminds me of him and our life together. It's here the tears still come and I wonder, "Dear God, how can I bear to leave this Sanctuary we built together?" and I don't know; I really just don't know.

Blessings ~ Downton Abbey ~ Hollywood Cemetery ~ Dave ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~


  1. God bless you, Sandra. You loved/love Dave so well.

  2. It seems that so far God is not letting you leave... maybe when you finally sell your place it will feel like the right time. May He continue to give you peace and courage for each day's tasks.

  3. I was so touched by your post, and share some of your feelings, as I too care for a very frail husband. Savour every day on your lovely farm.

  4. big hugs Sandra, well there is one thing when you have to leave the farm you know Dave isn't going to hang around behind without you! xxoo

  5. Oh dear Sandra ~ My heart aches along with yours. We loved our husbands dearly and miss them sorely. When and if it comes time to leave your lovely, memory filled place, you will know the time is right. Dave's love and all of your memories will go with you wherever you go.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ Rainey

  6. Thank you for the visit to Hollywood. I find a sacredness in a visit to a cemetery . . . well known or private. History, Love, Regard can be found. My mother visited Hollywood years ago . . . This visit from you brought me to her and my remembering of her having been there.
    It was kind of family to have given you a visit where Dave has been buried . . . And to have received a peacefulness. Thistle Cove Farm will forever be Dave . . . and most assuredly Sandra . . . tender, beautuful post . . .

  7. Dear Sandra, what a beautiful heartfelt post...I am speechless..Love and hugs to you my friend. ♥

  8. This is unbearably touching and beautiful. Great love, great wisdom. What a beautiful cemetery.

    You walked a long journey both before and since Dave left this earth. Healing takes a long while but as I read your words I know you are walking its path with good faith.

  9. I'm glad you got to visit with Dave. The cemetery sounds extremely interesting to me. I do find walking around a cemetery and looking at the headstones fascinating. I'm pleased to hear that Dave gave his life to God just prior to his death. ((Hugs))

  10. Dear Sandra, Happy New Year! Your post touched my heart. You are amazing and always such an inspiration to me. So blessed by your friendship.
    May 2016 be a comfort to you filled with many joys.

  11. Sending my love and prayers to you today...

  12. Such a moving post. I think that our loved ones remain with us in our hearts, wherever else they may be. I am sure that your loved ones will always be in your very kind and loving heart. xx

  13. Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...

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  14. Your story sounds so familiar with my own! It has been 16 years for me, and I try not to remember those days, but I guess they will always be there. God Bless You as you walk your path.

  15. A very beautiful post in words and pictures.Keep It Up. God Bless You.

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  16. Beautiful post, dear Sandra. You do such a good job of thrashing through the thoughts and emotions going on. That farm really does represent the union and home and life you and Dave crafted together -- the stuff of life that you shared and had in common. But it's true for all of us humans that we must release these physical places from our hands, and instead ingrain them in our minds and hearts. So much to lose, but so much to remember. Thanks for sharing the cemetery with us. I'd love to wander there for an afternoon.

  17. Beautiful. God is good still there because it isn't time. You will know with the ease of which it comes. Bless you Miss. Sandra

  18. Sandra, The Talmud scares me when it refers to Mary as a whore and Jesus as a bastard. The Talmud also says that Jesus did magic with his manly parts….not joking. These are a few of the reasons so many Jewish people dislike Jesus.

    The Accusation
    Insults Against Blessed Mary, Sanhedrin 106a . Says Jesus' mother was a whore: "She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters." Also in footnote #2 to Shabbath 104b it is stated that in the "uncensored" text of the Talmud it is written that Jesus mother, "Miriam the hairdresser," had sex with many men.
    "Jesus was a bastard born of adultery." (Yebamoth 49b, p.324).
    "Mary was a whore: Jesus (Balaam) was an evil man." (Sanhedrin 106a &b, p.725).
    "Jesus was a magician and a fool. Mary was an adulteress". (Shabbath 104b, p.504).

  19. My heart breaks for you. But you, too, are a kind, courageous, strong woman. God has more for you yet.

  20. Sandra dear, you never cease to amaze me with life lessons you, without knowing, teach me. There are so many in this post alone. The love of a woman for a man and her purposing to care for him and the things he cared about, even when it's very hard. Your faith, always your faith. Your love of this country and its history.

    God bless you,


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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