Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - My Father

Richard Enlow Love, Jr.
July 24, 1914
August 20. 1957

This is my Father's tombstone - Richard Enloe Love, Jr.  He is buried in Memphis National Cemetery, located in Memphis, Shelby Co., TN.  Unfortunately, his tombstone is incorrect.  His middle name is misspelled. When I first saw it as a child, I remember being shocked, and then relieved.  I decided that if the name wasn't correct, then he wasn't really there.  Sometimes I still cling to that thought.  I was only ten years old when he died.

I found out in later years that the middle name was misspelled because it was also spelled incorrectly on his death certificate.  The military used the information from his death certificate to create the tombstone.

Even though my Grandmother (his own Mother) had given the information herself, evidently she did not check to make sure that 'Enloe' was spelled correctly.  It is often spelled as 'Enlow,' and whoever wrote the information down probably didn't think to check on the spelling either. I never understood why 'the adults' didn't have the tombstone corrected.  Perhaps they tried and were told that it couldn't be done. I have since found that it can be done, but it would be costly and a completely new tombstone would have to be created.  I'm not sure that I want that.

This particular tombstone (flawed as it is) is very meaningful to me personally.  I've visited it often over the years. Even today, some 55 years later, the tears still flow and the loss of a relationship with my Father still stings as I stand before it.  When I was  27 years old, and going through an emotionally difficult divorce, I went to the cemetery, stood before that tombstone and literally yelled out loud at my Father for leaving me.  I just knew that if he had stayed around, I wouldn't be in the sad state that I was in at that time.  My Daddy would have made sure that nothing bad would have ever happened to his little girl.  The relief I felt after doing that was enormous. I felt comforted and loved, which I knew that I was.

I was also extremely relieved to discover (after the fact) that there was no one around to witness that unseemly outburst.  Yes, I will most definitely keep that tombstone just as it is.


  1. Very touching post Carla. Thanks for sharing these tender memories.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jana, and thanks for retweeting it! :) This was difficult for me to write.

  2. I found your post very interesting and enlightening. I, too, have a tombstone in the family with incorrect information. It has bothered one relative greatly, and I had considered paying for a new one; but after reading how you made peace with the mistake, I will share your thoughts with my relative. Thanks.
    Kathy Hart

    1. I'm glad this post helped you...and I was just reading your blog and left a comment on yours! :)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your information, I am working on my family tree and have connected with you on FB. I think we might be related through the Loves in Tennessee. Since I know some of the names of your relatives, I will try to find something.

    1. I look forward to whatever information you can find out about our possible "Love" connection. Thanks! :)