Trip to the Graveyard

So I’m just back from a visit with my parents.  It was wonderful to spend time with them, especially on Father’s Day.

I’d flown into Jacksonville as per usual.  Tickets are just plain cheaper into Jacksonville.  My mom picked me up.  As we drove into town, my mom points out a cemetery.  “Ah,” I say blandly.

Then she pulls a mad U-turn and we’re parked on the grass off the curb.  O-kay…..  And my mom’s out of the car before I can say WTF are we doing here.  Which is pretty much what I would have said had she waited.

She’s far ahead of me, walking toward the gate.  “It has a code,” she calls over her shoulder as she takes the lock in her hand.

“Err,” I answer dumbly.  “Why do dead people need codes?”

My mom rolls her eyes at me, so I just follow her in.  I’m pretty much gobsmacked by the whole thing.  My luggage is still warm in the trunk, waiting expectantly for us to pull into the drive at home.  Not at the graveyard.

But, I follow my mom.  Finally she stops by a large oak tree.  “Here,” she says, holding her arms wide.  “This is where your father and I will be buried.”

I’m looking from her to the grass in front of us.  “Ah,” I say.

Then she looks to the right, and makes a double-take.  “No,” she says, walking two steps resolutely.  “Here.”

“Ah,” I say again.  And peer around.

We search for someone’s grave, a friend of my parents’.  It’s a Jewish cemetary, and traditionally Jews show respect for those who have passed on by putting small stones on their headstones.  So my mom gathers some stones to place on the headstones of those whom she knew in life.  I just wait on the path.

As she starts off toward two gravestones, my mom says to me, “Oh, he was a good person, such a good person, such a–” And then she realizes she’s read the name wrong, squints, and heads off to the right one.  “Yes, he was such a good person,” she says as she puts the stone on the gravestone.

I giggle.  “Yeah, the other guy was such an arse.”

My poor mom then placed a stone on the other fellow’s grave, feeling bad, I suppose, for my irreverence.

When we got home, my dad couldn’t believe our first stop in town had been their plots.  It was a rather interesting trip.  My mom’s constantly doing the sweetest, funniest and bizarrest things.  Gotta love her.

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About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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