It was something I was used to doing every year – visiting my grandparents’ grave. It’s been an annual family tradition of ours to each year visit the veterans’ cemetery and have a picnic lunch afterwards. The “afterwards” has always been my favorite part, because, although I never wanted to seem disrespectful or uncaring, I feel no emotional family connection, having barely known either relative. We always take the trip in late May in honor of Memorial Day, but it was postponed due to this past spring’s tornadic weather and major flooding. We went on July 4th this year.
The intense storms that went on, on the outside and within myself, changed things up this time around, and shamefully, not in a good way for me on some matters.
I passed by the uniform gravestones, my eyes reluctantly searching for the name I did not want to have to see. My grandfather’s name…and also HIS name.
The name that had made my heart ache with longing and then with unbearable anguish.
The name that still ran through my mind a hundred times a day.
And there it was.
I stopped and stared at it, engraved into the smooth marble, and it stared blankly back at me. I felt emptiness, and at the same time, I suppressed a flood of sorrowing emotions.
The sad realization was that, even though it wasn’t HIS grave, I knew he had already become a stone-cold wall of a man with a dead heart.
To me, anyway.
I turned away and walked down the row of pristine white markers to the end where an unkempt field of wildflowers stood just beyond the cemetery fence.
I wanted to be with the wildflowers.
I wanted to go to my special trail – the one over yonder from the memorial site, past the shaded picnic tables, and behind the old wooden barracks. The one that cut through the tall prairie grasses with spontaneous flecks of golden tickseed, daisy fleabane, and Indian paintbrush, and wound around up to the overlooking hill.
I found it serenely beautiful, and I needed something to take my mind off the name that was so persistently intrusive to my thoughts.
The July sun was beating down, but I was determined to walk my pastoral pathway.
The sweltering heat was not at all ideal; still, the rustic surroundings and feral nature was enough to distract my downhearted spirit.
I yearned for this kind of rural environment, for this understated kind of life.
In a place of historical prominence and charm, it was fun to imagine being back in time, living in the wild frontier era or in some olden-day country farm town.
Most of the trip went on in its usual way, but like I said, some things were just more difficult for me because of the circumstances. I kept my emotions under control and did the best I could to enjoy myself. I have to freeze my own heart for my own reasons.
I know that until I can stop the thoughts, stop the strange signs, and stop my constant wondering and worrying – the pain, anger, and despair will still remain inside.
I can’t keep talking about this forever though.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m determined to try to develop my spiritual and metaphysical abilities – if only for the sake of my own faith and emotional health.
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