I have come to that stage in my life where Father’s Day means visiting my parents’ gravesite.
It took me a while to find it. I had a vague recollection of the spot from when we finally managed to get the three brothers together to bury my father’s ashes in 2015, a year and a half after his death. Sadly, our three sisters had very good reason for not wanting to be there. That’s a story for another time.
My mom died last July, though Alzheimer’s had taken her ten years before that. It’s been a rough ten years.
We got the family together for Mom’s interment and memorial service in September. Getting folks together takes time. Between children and grandchildren, we’re spread out all over. I was a month out of major surgery and not going anywhere. The sibs came to the house to say hello. There was healing, or at least a start.
Our associate pastor, a decades-long friend of the family, conducted the service. (She and Mom taught together for many years.) I understand she did a wonderful job of it. I tried to put my thoughts together to write something she could read to the congregation, but with the pain meds I was on it was a struggle to put together a complete sentence, much less a coherent essay. So she stopped by and sat on my bed while I tried to express my thoughts. Tineke is a gem. I still need to write that essay.
In any event, this was the first I’d been to the gravesite since we buried my father. Five years is a long time to remember precise locations. My recollections proved correct, but it still took some wandering before I found the little gravestone with my parents’ names.
I had along my lovely little pinhole camera and tripod. I took some photographs with it that you will see in a week or so. I took one photo with my phone so as to have something to post today.
I’m not much for lingering. I was there by myself. I snapped a salute and walked back to the car. I cried.
Rest in peace, Dad and Mom. I will see you again when the last trumpet sounds.