Saturday, July 19, 2008

Honoring family

This is the St. Mathias Church, built around 1500. This is the church my mother and her family attended when she was growing up.

The original church was built between 1127 and 1160, and was named the Eucharius church, built on an ancient Roman cemetery outside the city's fortifications.

But, when it had to be rebuilt, they discovered the tomb of St. Matthew buried on the site of the former church. So they rebuilt and changed the name to honor St. Matthew.

The church site also houses the crypts of Trier's first bishops, St. Eucharius and St. Valerius that were buried at the site in the 4C and 5C.


We were lucky enough to be in the church for a rare treat, as the organist was meeting with some people and she played a little while we were inside. It was truly inspiring. And we were also there to listen to the bells in the bell tower as we were entering the church.
And this is my grandparents' grave. We came to pay our respects and to tend to the grave, as that work is typically done by family over here. Since there is no more family here in this city, our relatives now use a service that comes a few times a year, but I was so glad to be able to come and help just a little. I pulled some weeds and dead leaves out and planted the sweetest little mum with miniature yellow mounding blooms right in the middle of the gravesite.

It's cathartic - tending to this little patch of garden that means so very much to me - and honoring the family that came and went before me.

Tomorrow we we leave Trier and move on to visit my cousin and her husband in Weilerswist, a small town outside of Cologne. I'm very excited about getting to see them. She's like a sister to me, and he has the most amazing garden I can't wait to show you -- be sure to tune in tomorrow!

Oh - and these were the most beautiful flowers I saw in the cemetery - a lovely splash of color.

5 comments:

Carol said...

What a special day and special visit. I'm enjoying your posts from Germany, it sounds like a great trip.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Gail said...

Thank you for sharing this very personal time with your family...

Gail

dinzie said...

Sounds like a very special journey...

D

iggee said...

Hi Di - My Father just sent me his pedigree chart, and it turns out that my family on my father's side comes from Waldrach, Germany, a town very close to your mother's hometown of Treir. Small world, huh?

I'm really enjoying reading about your journey. It almost feels like I'm able to see those beautiful places too!

Diana said...

Carol - it was nice. Glad you're enjoying my long-distance "post cards!"

Gail - It makes me happy to know my friends are following along.

dinzie - it's really been a great trip, in spite of tough weather.

Iggee --It is a small world. You'll have to look at my big road map when you come over and see just exactly where that is!