Thursday, April 14, 2011

About time I started...

I've been in China for the last six months and figured it was high time I began to write about living and working here.  Last month Ying my NBCNUSC (Native Born Chinese Naturalized US Citizen) wife and I went back to the US for vacation (22 March-7 April).  Part of the reason we went was to introduce Ying to realitives from my mother's side of the family.  Another was to visit family friends in Kerrville, Texas and visit their daughter, whom Ying cared for (she has ALS), but the main reason was to find the Sharp Family Cemetary in central Missouri.  My father passed away just before Christmas 2005 in Texas and my mother passed away February this year (2011) in Arizona. Both were creameted, but their wishes were to have their ashes interred in their headstones in Missouri.  My brother who also lived in Arizona (appointed my mother's guardian (she had Alzheimers)) had control of the ashes of both mom and dad.  Since neither me or my brothers had not been there since we were children we did not remember where it was.  My younger brother who lived in Oregon decided he would instead put their ashes in a memorial garden in his yard. I however decided to make it a personal quest to find it.  I researched the information I had on the family and based on descriptions had a rough idea where it was.  I looked it up on Google Earth but the detail was not such that I could pin it down exactly.  I had planned on stopping in Missouri on our way from Illinois to Texas, but the weather was cold and snowing  so I decided to hit it on the way back, which we did.  Once in Rolla, Missouri Ying and I drove out to the area to look for it, but with a child's memory I could not find it, so we headed back to town to visit the funeral home that my family used, but the people there now couldn't help me so as a last resort I decided to go to the county courthouse.  The receptionist there told me that she knew a person who was an expert on local cemeteries. Dorthy James and Ruth Adair were such great helps,  They determined the cemetary was just over the county line in Maries county. and found the map of its location.  I plotted it on my GPS and Ying and I went to find it.  As were getting closer I realized my plot was a little off.  I got to a location that I knew was past it so I decided to return and make a copy of the map.  On the way back I was driving slower with one eye on my GPS and the other on the road when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw the headstones.  I suddenly blurted out, "There it is!" Ying asked me how I knew and I told her it was because of the headstones.  She was skeptical till she went into the cemetary and saw that most of the headstones had the Sharp surnane.  As we were taking pictures of the markers, Ying reminded me that this was "Tomb Sweeping Day" in China, so it was appropriate that we found it that day instead of a week earlier.


  1. Congratulations with starting the blog!

  2. Thanks Crystal,
    Your own blog has been an inspiration to get started doing my own.

  3. Not to be picky Bro, but Dad passed in December of 2006 and Mom was Jan 13.

    For the record - I'm glad that you took the time to locate the cemetary.

    Take Care and Zen Hugs.

    Little Bro in OR