Saturday morning me and my family head off to the little town of Roseland, for my great aunt’s funeral. It’s too bad that I had to experience the quaint town under these unfortunate circumstances but none-the-less it was an eye opening experience. Here’s why. As you turned down the main country road that leads to Roseland you can almost smell the air change, it was crisper, more fresh. The roads were swamped with flocks of black birds (more than I had EVER seen in my entire life) as if they had been there all morning and we were the first ones to disturb them from their wake. Their wings barely lifting them into the sky before we zoom past them. To no surprise, the scenery looks the same as any Nebraska town though, green and gold pastures of corn and the smell of cattle mixed with fresh air. We turned right on a little street, that I quickly realized, was pretty much the main street of the town. It would probably be a 45-second drive and your on to the next town. My great aunt’s house was across the street from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church where her service was being held. The church had big vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows and the priest who taught my freshman year theology class odd enough. Half of Roseland was at the funeral and the church wasn’t even completely full, granted it is only a town of 248. I had such a strong feeling of connection to the town, like it had so much meaning and history to my family. My Grandma then showed me the stained glass window the was dedicated to my grandpa’s grandparent’s, until then I totally forgot that this was the hometown of my grandpa. The town that shaped him into the strong willed man he was, the town that I am now experiencing in a way that is probably VERY different than how he did. The cemetery was the craziest thing to me. graveyards have always gave me the creeps, but this was intriguing to me. But not in a horror creepy way but in a way that truly opened my eyes to the history of my family. As my eyes skim the gravestones in the distance it was almost like tunnel vision and my eyes locked on a gravestone with “Hoffman” my grandpa’s last name. We quickly learned the backstory from my grandma and saw 7 other stones all related to my grandpa. What touched me the most was seeing the stones of my grandma’s sisters: the twins who died after birth, the 2-year old who drowned in the river and many other relatives. She would have had 12 siblings of they would have all lived and she is one of 2 left today. I guess overall I have gained much more respect and sympathy towards my family knowing the hardships that everyone had to experience, I saw pain and happiness, tears of joy and sadness from my grandma and it taught me to live each day with no regrets and to love unconditionally.