Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have a very early memory of my Uncle Bill. I was just 3 1/2 when he died. But I remember him. He was always smiling at me. On our recent trip to FL, I picked my grandmother up from her nursing home to take her out for the day. While we were driving, I just happened to remember that she told me once that she would like me to take her to visit her son's grave the next time I had a chance. It happens to be right in that little small town I grew up in.
When we got there, my grandma told me she couldn't remember where his grave was because the last time she had been there was the day he was buried - that was 1975. I could not believe my own ears. Imagine, never visiting your child's grave?? I couldn't even comprehend this. Now, my grandma has never owned a driver's license and has only lived in this part of Florida for the last 10-15 years or so, so visiting his grave hasn't always been this easy. My Uncle Bill took his own life - I can't imagine the complexity of a mother having to live through that sort of grief. I suppose my Grandma processed it in her own way, no one ever talked about him. I didn't realize the treasure that this visit would be. I very vaguely remembered visiting his grave once, I must have been so small. Fortunately the cemetary isn't very large, so I was able to locate it in just a few minutes. It was a beautiful moment, with Grandma telling me a few short stories about my Uncle Bill and me with tears streaming down her face.
I suppose because it was the week of Independence Day, that someone had placed a flag on his grave as he was a veteran. This was a blessing for my Grandma.
Dear Lord, Please teach us how to love our family like you love us. Help us to honor each family member as precious in your sight, those who are still here with us, and those that are no longer. Help us to keep their memories alive and joyful, and to be the source of comfort and peace to each other that you have created families to be.


Karen said...

I know it was very special for her to visit the gravesite; motherhood is wonderful, but pain & grief run parallel to it far too often. I have memories of Uncle Bill always happy and playful with us, and I also remember the moment that dad told us that he was no longer with us. Wish he was still here - he would've loved our families and all the kids.

inadvertent farmer said...

My twin daughters are just buried over the hill from our home and I visit often...every mother must work through and learn to live with a broken heart in her own way.

I'm glad you made the visit with your grandmother and she to to speak of her son.

Beautiful post...Kim