It isn’t called this, but it’s what my brother thought it was called when he was younger. It makes sense if you really think about it. For us, All Saints Day (or the Saturday/Sunday before it) meant heading out to the family plots to clean and whitewash the tombs. To him, this meant the day must be called All Graves Day and he’d tell Mom it was time to “go paint the gravies”.
The significance of it never really sank in. Yes, we were Catholic growing up, but our parents weren’t very devoted Catholics. We went to church on Christmas Eve and Easter, and observed All Saints Day, but that was all.
I do recall heading to the cemetery with my dad and one of his cousins. They’d let me roam the graveyard while they worked on one tomb and then another. Now, it might seem weird to let a child roam around a cemetery, but I wasn’t scared at all. I actually find cemeteries to be very peaceful and pretty. I liked to look at the tombs to see what families were where. I used to make a game of looking for the oldest graves, or who had the most interesting first names, or who lived the longest. It gave me a sense of history and a strangely enough, perhaps I ended up understanding the true meaning of All Saints Day because of it.
These people had been here before me. They’d lived long ago, or not so long ago. They had family. Some were devoted parents with loving children. Some were children with loving parents. Some were wives. Some were husbands. But they all shared a common theme, they were gone and their loved ones missed them. So yes, I suppose I honored the souls of those who’ve gone before me without even realizing it.
And I’m deeply disappointed in my Saints this weekend. Oh, sorry, my New Orleans Saints. Perhaps they were nervous since their holiday was approaching. Or maybe they would’ve done better if the game had fallen on November 1 instead of October 30. Who knows? All I do know is they’d better get back on the ball. There are a lot of people (dead and alive) who want to see them go back to the Super Bowl.