[photo courtesy of Kelly]
I’ve been mulling over in my mind the past several weeks wondering if I could
crystallize my many thoughts into one fine black point.
The little voice inside my head just said, “Are you really serious?”
Since the night I wrote ‘Boxes’ my world has changed dramatically.
On one level, there is this welcome sense of relief regarding the final end for my father and his long fought ordeal; another level acknowledges a deep sadness knowing and accepting the fact that he is truly gone.
I took a ride yesterday afternoon to North Cemetery where my mother and father are now buried.
It was unseasonably warm with a cobalt-blue sky, a Cape Cod-like sea breeze and enough
brilliant sunshine to make me start daydreaming about the summer months ahead.
This place where the earth now wraps its arms securely around my parents has become
hallowed ground for many reasons.
For me, it is a tangible point of communication, a visible portal to somewhere I’ve never been,
a place where special things happen and are accepted for all that they are.
It was no different yesterday as I stood staring at the rose granite bench bearing the names:
Virginia A. & Walter M.
Best friends, I thought.
The engravers had paid a visit and finished the stone.
The circle was now complete.
I was alone in the cemetery and sat down on the sun-warmed bench, stretching my legs out into the sunshine.
To my right was the small flag stuck in a holder that now marks my father as an American veteran.
I was sitting for less than a minute when the wind picked up.
The tiny flag began waving gently and touched my arm.
“Hey, Dad,” I said, smiling at the thought.
The flag continued to wave, touching my arm, my soul, my heart.
It was sitting there that I began to finally accept the finality of these past few weeks.
The stone was done, seeds were planted and tears rolled down my cheeks watering the dry earth below me.
As I stood up, the breeze ceased and the flag drooped down.
I kissed the palm of my hand and placed it on the warm rose granite bench that now held their names.
“You’re finally home, Dad,” I said to an empty cemetery.
I got in my truck and drove away a different man then when I originally came in and
for the first time in many years, something felt right.