Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tender Moments

Last night we took the time to visit my husband’s father’s grave site. He died 16 years ago.

Though our children have never known their paternal grandfather, our time at the cemetery was tender.

After cleaning off the headstone and placing bouquets of home-grown peonies and irises, my children began noticing the headstones of others who were buried nearby.

“Mom,” expressed one child, “this is the headstone of a little boy.”

“Look here,” directed another, “this man was 87 years old when he died.”

And yet another, “Did you see that this family left Diet Coke and chips for their mom?!”

I watched them as they reverently and curiously took their time in that cemetery, walking from headstone to headstone picking up flowers and bouquets that had fallen due to the wind.

It was so out of character for these eight children who are naturally loud and easily bored most of the time.

I even spied my four year old carefully spinning a pinwheel as he knelt close to a decorated grave.

I stood with my ten year old son at his grandfather’s headstone.

He stared at it for a long time.

“What are you feeling?” I finally asked.

“I like this place. . . but I also feel sad.”

I could see tears welling up in his eyes, so I slowly put his head into my shoulder.

A few second later he pulled away and placed one of his treasured Indiana Jones Legos character on the headstone.

“It’s the best one I have,” he said, as we turned and walked slowly back to the van.

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