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Thursday, July 13, 2006

So, I went....

I finally did it this week. On Sunday, I went to the cemetery where the natural grandparents of my son are buried. The place I have to drive by each day to and from work. I entered the gates without seeming to make a conscious decision; probably because I have avoided following through on the decision to go which I really had made weeks ago.

It is a huge national military cemetery comprised of acres of white grave markers. I was surprised at how easy it was to find their graves. There is a central building with a touch screen computer for locating the graves of the deceased. I used the locator map to find the right cemetery section. The section in which they are buried is about an acre in size and I circled around in my van to find some numeric marker or an indicator to show that I was even close. When I decided that I might be close, I parked and started searching on foot. Amazingly, I had stopped my vehicle within feet of his grandparents' graves.

What did I do there? Though, I am not sure I know exactly why I went or if I even clearly can say now of what benefit it was to me that I did, I do know that I sat beside their graves in the hot sun and some of the tension baked out of my shoulders. And I felt the praire wind across my arms and body. And I sat for about 20 minutes next to their headstones and looked across the expansive plain of holy, sacred ground and at the multitude of white grave stones.

To the east, the direction I faced, was life and great noise; an international airport with the explosion of ascending and descending jets, prop planes and military planes. To my west, and my back, another smaller airport blending with the sounds of a light rail train. I think the most beautiful cemeteries are the ones that are next to the musical, discordant sounds and movements of the living. Perhaps this is a morbid sequence of thought, but maybe it is genetic in some way as I am the grandaughter of a mortician.

I sat in the noontime sun and heat of a mid July day. At first, I busied and distracted myself with pulling some invading clumps of crab grass around their headstones and brushed away the dried grass cuttings covering their names. I studied their middle intials and memorized their birthdates; curious for what middle names the intials stood. I traced my finger in the carving of their surname.

And then I cried. I allowed myself to open up a certain reservoir of pain. Can't describe well where inside of me it originates or exactly define the pain....Of course it is about loss. Huge loss.

I do think that I will go back. It feels like a safe place to simply be and cry if I need or to think and pray. I pray and wish to continue to pray for my son's natural parents. And I wish to continue pray for their son who is the father of my son; and all of the family. And I hope that these souls, to whom I have a connection through the existence of my first born, will also pray for me.

I think I left the cemetery with some of what it was I may have been searching. Although, as I was driving into that place I wouldn't have been able to articulate to another living soul nor my even to myself why I was going there. I just was going.

I left feeling a little more peaceful; and very happy to have discovered another place to go for quiet contemplation. And I think I left with greater gratitude for my life that day. Feeling grateful that I was alive and I had that day to go to the grocery store to buy food. That I could cook a meal which would nourish the bodies of some of those I love. And a few days farther into this week with the time I have had to think about my stop at the cemetery, I am feeling thankful that I have this day, this particular Thursday, to be alive and to love the people in my life to the best of my ability.


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