On one of the first days of our Dallas Pauper’s Cemetery Census I discovered a name plate for an Emelio Garcia. It was one of those names that stuck out to me, because I have a friend by the same name (sparing a vowel). My friend goes by the nickname Nemo and this sent us on the mission of, you guessed it, “Finding Nemo”!
It’s hard to find levity in a graveyard, but we struggled to keep our spirits up. We set about our task with glee and even sent him a picture of the loose plate which bore his name. We thought we had found him in a neighboring Block of the cemetery, but at the time we couldn’t tell for sure, because the grid system used to help you locate the graves was lost to time. Over the last 3 months we have found a working system to help us locate such graves and as we did, we found that our initial assumptions were incorrect. There was another E. Garcia in that spot.
So, where did Nemo belong? I called Ellen’s show, but they were very rude and wouldn’t help me at all! I searched through the cemetery records only to find 30 Garcia’s all competing to be found. Months went by and I forgot about it, but recently we completed the Census and on that last day, Nemo was there helping. I mentioned to him that I should show him his Doppelganger’s grave, not quite remembering that it was a loose plate in temporary exile at my house. We completed the Census for 2/3 of the 2060 graves that day and I’ve been steadfastly trying to crunch all that data and produce an end result. In the process I came across other graves that bore similar names. That happens when burials have been conducted for almost a 50 year period. One by one, I eliminated all of the other possible gravesites for Nemo.
I’m now at the end of this journey (though it is only just beginning) and still am not able to put Nemo’s information on his grave. That bother’s me immensely. I don’t want his resting place to be unmarked. But I simply don’t have an answer and my hopes are fading.
Will we ever find Nemo? Only time will tell, but this poor little infant who lived less than 2 months on this planet has somehow gotten through my tough exterior and I weep for him. I wish that we could locate 100% of the graves in this cemetery, but I’ve always known that it isn’t likely. 99% of these souls will have a final resting place that is known to the world. But a few dozen may have been erased through decades of neglect and I’m all too afraid that Nemo will be one of them. I’ve found his Death Certificate, which confirms he was buried in this cemetery. I have his name plate, but I don’t have him.