I've written quite alot about my third great-grandfather Jeremiah Garner lately, so it seemed fitting that since I would be in the neighborhood on my way to the Thousand Islands in northern New York last week, that I visit his grave. Which is also the grave of my third great-grandmother Clarinda Wood who is buried there with him to my unending amazement.
In earlier blogs I've described their relationship and it's demise, along with Grandpa's other wives. Standing by the grave it occurred to me, Clarinda died nine years before Jeremiah--if you take a look at the inscription on the stone, you will see Jeremiah got top billing along with fancier lettering. Grandma was consigned to rather nondescript script, labeling her for eternity the wife of the man who deserted her and his family. It's a pretty good bet that Jeremiah was the one behind this grave marker. I've often wondered how their children could have possibly come up with such a tombstone, but now I think it's likely Jeremiah himself commissioned it.
Perhaps he was in ill health when he finally returned from his long absence and for reasons best known to himself wanted to be buried next to the woman he had wronged so many years earlier. All evidence points to his return being five years after her death. I wonder, was he aware she had died? Was it a shock when he returned and found she was gone? Was this stone a form of atonement or the final act of arrogance?