Bitter Sweet
Thursday, June 01, 2006

It was one of those days begging you to roll the car windows down and let the breeze tangle your hair into a million knots.

I had a visit to make that was a long time over due.

As we pulled into the cemetery I was taken aback by the vast sea of white crosses and flags. The sun beat warmly upon the backs of people bent over, cleaning off grave stones, tending to weeds that had sprung up between visits, and putting small pieces of love into every act.

There is no age here, no color, creed, or religion. Those that visit belong to a different race; we belong among those who have been left behind. We know each other in passing smiles, reserved looks, shared loss.

I know exactly where to stop among the endless hills of graves.
Even though no colorful marker shows the way,
my heart remembers.

I walk towards them with heavy feet, flags fluttering in the summer breeze around me. The sound they make is the soft flapping of a birds wings and it soothes me, reminds me that my family doesn't lie here alone.

I stand above the gravestones that represent my parents. They seem so plain in comparison to the people that lie beneath them. It's hard to believe that they mark their lives, but you can't write the worth of a life in only a few letters on stone.

The torrents open and out pours this grief that has welled and ebbed, pushed and pulled at my soul, only to be denied, pushed down deeper into the dark.
It rushes now past my defenses and sends me to my knees in the warm soft grass. My tears stream down my face unchecked as I am defenseless against the onslaught of denied emotions. Like soldiers they pour from beneath my lids, their war cries released in my sobs. My shoulders bend from the weight and my hands curl into the earth seeking comfort from those who are beyond my reach.

I don't remember talking to them, I couldn't. Today was not the day for words or thoughts, just this voice, this sad wailing voice, who had not been allowed her grief.

Through a screen of tears I watch as my son bustles about tidying up others graves, knowing without being told that I needed to be alone.
He picks up flowers, straightening them in their pot, puts a small figure to rights that had been knocked over in the wind,and places wayward blooms with no home on graves that lie unadorned.
His small, sweet, black head bent in concentration as he tries to fix something at another grave. I watch him play caretaker, knowing that his tasks show a caring and understanding that reaches beyond his brief ten years.

He is my anchor in this swirling mist of pain. He pulls me back to the day, the bitter sweet beauty of a sea of red, white, and blue, under a summer sun.

As I walk back to the car he asks me for just a minute more. I sit down, soaking in the warmth the day has left, giving him his time. I watch as he kneels in front of the grave of a grandfather he never knew but bears in his genes, then the grave of his grandmother who helped raise him; giving each gravestone a press of his lips and a caress of his small hand.

There if front of me lies both my past and my future....my life.






21 Comments:
Blogger Pioneer Woman had this to say:

Loved this post, enjoying your blog! :)

1:38 PM, June 01, 2006 

Blogger shpprgrl had this to say:

Such a nice tribute!

5:27 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Gypsy had this to say:

That was beautiful.

6:51 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills had this to say:

This was beautiful and so very touching...It made me just want to hug both you and your dear sweet son...Such a lovely tribute and it is soooo very beautifully expressed...

8:43 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills had this to say:

I forgot to say I am here fromn Michele's today...I got so caught up in your writing.

8:44 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Megan had this to say:

That was beautiful.

Michele sent me.

8:47 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Wordnerd had this to say:

That was beautiful, heartfelt, and touching. For me, having also lost both parents, it touched me on several levels. Your eloquent post is a tribute to both of them, and I thank God that you have your little angel to keep you going.

8:47 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Wordnerd had this to say:

Ooops! Don't tell Michele...I forgot! Oh, and sorry about the TOTAL inappropriateness of my little picture!!! Because I DO care, I really do!!!!

8:56 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger sage had this to say:

Oh wow, intense and powerful and touching. I ached for you yet felt it was privy to something beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Michele sent me.

9:10 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Just a trumpet player had this to say:

Beautiful and very touching post.

Knowing that my mother will soon go on the other side, your tribute made the reality a bit bitter-sweet : life will go on and the kids are there to confirm that.

Have a great weekend !

9:22 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger kenju had this to say:

Michele sent me, Kara Mia.

What a sad, but beautiful tribute. You are a very good writer.

10:54 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger mar had this to say:

Beautiful post. You wrote it beautifully and I am sure your parents are just smiling at you and at your little boy. How bitter sweet. Michele sent me.

11:51 AM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger utenzi had this to say:

Michele sent me, Karamia.

I don't know if I'll ever feel such depth of emotion. Maybe it's being a guy, or maybe it's just me and gender isn't an issue but reading your description of your feelings left me amazed at how much I'm missing, Mia. Maybe your son will retain this emotional connection when he's older...

12:58 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Yo Tambien Te Mando Besos had this to say:

Hello KaraMia,

Thank you for the words in my blog. After reading yours I just felt the urge of hugging you and crying together for a moment. Thank you for sharing this with us.

2:01 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills had this to say:

Michele sent me back again today, my dear....This is such a wonderful wonderful post, my dear..Lovely.

3:17 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Catherine had this to say:

Thank you for sharing this very moving post.
Michelle sent me.

3:31 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Ciera had this to say:

thanks for visiting my site. Your post was indeed bitter sweet and thanks for sharing it. :)

3:50 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Carmi had this to say:

This entry reinforces the connections between our past and our future, and why it is so important to honor where we come from. Your son inherited well from his grandparents, and from you.

This is such a touching piece of writing - I do hope you'll consider submitting it for publication. If your local newspaper has a reader-submission program that goes beyond the usual letters-to-the-editor format, you may want to start there.

I would think any editor with a soul would read this and be moved.

I certainly was.

4:10 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Mrs. Darling had this to say:

Beautifully written. I enjoyed this very much. Here from Michelles.

5:04 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Prego had this to say:

There have been several times where my son(s) have made me cry or come close to tears visiting my mother's site. I feel you, sister.

P

here via michele

5:04 PM, June 02, 2006 

Blogger Dawn Falcone had this to say:

What a powerful & beautifully written post. I was truly moved by it. And I do agree with Carmi, you could get this piece published.

And thank you for stopping by my site yesterday.

11:55 AM, June 03, 2006 

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