It was the summer of 2018 when Kramer and I drove through Stewartville, MN on the way to one of my doctor appointments when we stopped at the cemetery. Both sets of Kramer’s grandparents are buried in the cemetery there.
We’d visited a few times before but not super often. When we were there, we were disappointed to see that his Grandma Kramer’s headstone had gradually sunk and wasn’t sitting straight.
Kramer talked that he would like to fix that. It was late summer and harvest was coming soon so like many farmers, he put it on his list to take care of the following summer when he had time.
When 2019 hit, Kramer was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away before the summer came when he was going to fix the stone. Now it was too late.
That all has been nagging on me. Being I was the one left and I knew this was his wish that this stone be fixed, I decided to do something about it. The problem, I didn’t know what…or how.
I didn’t know if being I was an “in-law” of a grandson if this was my place to do this. No direct children are living so care would move to the grandchildren…but still I was an in-law. I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
I ended up talking to Kayla’s husband Spencer and to our son Buck. Both agreed no one would care and no one really “owns” the plot so they told me I might as well ask for forgiveness over permission.
So, over the weekend Buck, Karl and I traveled to the cemetery in Stewartville and fixed their Great Grandma’s headstone. This is how it looked. You can see the KRAMER stone in the back. In the front are Kasjen and Dena’s headstones. You can see Dena’s stone was sinking.
Buck started out peeling away the sod.
Then Karl started from the other direction.
The boys were able to get under it with a spade.
Then they got a crow bar that they used as kids for picking rock out in the field. While Karl held the bar, Buck poored a bag of pea gravel under the headstone.
Buck checked it but it still needed a little more lift so they lifted it again and put the sod pieces under the headstone too.
Here is how it ended up looking. The headstone is level now and looks MUCH better. Kramer would be pleased. This is what he had hoped to do.
We aren’t completely happy with the stones yet. They have that mold stuff that gravestones often get. I ordered some stuff to put on them to spruce them up. It’s call D/2 Biological Solution. I have doctor appointments in Rochester in July. I’ll stop by and see if I can clean them then.
The job didn’t take long at all. I’m glad I have a couple of strapping boys with muscle and know-how to do these types of jobs. I really had no idea it would have been as easy as it was.
While we were there, I showed the boys the gravestones of their Henke grandparents. Their stone is just a row or so back from the Kramers. It was nice to have a chance to see them both.
It was kind of fitting that we did this over Father’s Day weekend. There really isn’t anything we can do for Kramer anymore. It was great to know we could at least carry out one of his wishes.
It was also very fitting that Buck was one of the people who fixed it. I always get asked how is Buck’s name Buck when all of our other kids have “K” names. Buck’s real name is Kasjen. He’s named after his great grandpa Kasjen Kramer. Kasjen was married to Dean….so the headstone we fixed was Buck’s namesake’s wife.