Recently on WDYTYA there was much todo regarding a neglected graveyard. This is a misunderstanding by many families. That once you purchased "the very best, most expensive gravestone, cemetery spot available at the time, that somehow the job of preserving a well defined, pristine resting place for your loved one is done forever.
Or that if you have a porous, soft material as a grave marker that there is no way to protect it. Check out the grave site of Daniel Boone's parents. I think this is so awesome. They built a structure around very primitive hand carved grave markers.
Imagine the surprise of a friend recently (that after a decade of divorce, losing her home, falling ill, struggling to meet every day's needs) she finally manages to visit her parents grave to find the headstones in ill repair. Explaining again and again how she went into debt to assure her parents had "the very best". Ancestors need cemetery caregivers. Some families have set up "foundations" to assure grave sites are maintained. Family members are notified of this service available. Grave sites are added by location, name and for donations (monetary or time) an administrator arranges for maintenance, status reports, etc. of the family resting places. An example of this would be Vandy Ann lives in Oklahoma, we have many sites in Oklahoma. We provide Vandy Ann a list and location of these sites. In turn, Vandy wants to be assure, have pictures, asks that flowers be laid at Grandparents site in Los Angeles. The family maintain a family foundation to manage this activity. There are several foundations already set by in my family. In one in particular the foundation encompasses several countries. THE CHAPIN FAMILY FOUNDATION.
Many families have family newspapers to update family members on additions, losses, new websites and grave site status reports. Example the newsletter may indicate a misspelling on a gravestone. Depending on the interest of the family --- someone may be willing to contact the cemetery to correct the problem and report back to the family.
Good things are happening out there. It is never too late to see a need and fill it. After watching that WDYTYA I immediately wanted to write Emmett Smith and suggest he "adopt" the cemetery, add headstones, and landscaping. Tell and glorify the lives of these fine people. In this horrible economy, he could give employment, honor and a livelihood to his relatives by hiring them to do the work, setting up a small home on the property, and providing for a cemetery care taker.
Let us not leave this world with regrets and condemnation. Let us leave this world a better place than when we begun. What a marvelous follow up documentary that would make to show Emmitt Smith returning back to the cemetery, hiring people, planning the landscape, preparing and engraving the stories in stone, setting up a small retirement home for relatives and the cost to stay there is to maintain the cemetery. He could set up a foundation in the name of his grandmother and include it in his will.