Home had become stifling for me. I needed to see family to remind me what matters in this world. So, I headed to
My godparents have this lovely turn-of-the-century house in
So, I spent the weekend doing typical holiday weekend family activities. My cousin Nick and his wife came and he brought a whole new meaning to grilling. The whole house smelled like a campfire. We played tee ball and card games, watched a family movie, went to an all-American parade, and made fun of each other.
But the highlight of my weekend was saying hello to (some) of my grandparents. Granted, they all live in the cemetery now, but it was fitting to ‘see’ them on Memorial Day weekend.
I didn’t even have to ask, my uncle just said, “Come on, let’s go up to see your grandparents.” So we all piled into the truck and drove the scenic route to Michigan Memorial in Flat Rock.
Grandpa’s headstone hadn’t been placed yet. The grass still hadn’t grown in over his grave. For some reason it feels so right to see him buried next to Grandma Evelyn. Even though they divorced and both remarried, Grandpa had said she would always be the love of his life. It was a happy moment being there. I think only one tear came to my eyes. Ironically his second wife, my Grandma Verna, and my Grandma Evelyn’s second husband, Wesley who I never really knew, are also both buried there and both with their first spouses.
My uncle and I had a long talk before I left for home. We talked about my grandfather’s life and family. It bothers him that Grandpa died with nothing.
But when I saw my Grandma and Grandpa side-by-side together, I realized he died with more than we’ll realize. He died having loved two women. He died being redeemed. He had made mistakes in his life that taught his five sons lessons that many people never learn.
I wonder if my Grandma is irritated that she is buried for all eternity with her ex-husband, but I have a feeling she felt the same way he did. I suppose I’ll never really know, but I’m a closet romantic and would like to believe that it is the perfect ending to their lives. I’ve found it’s rare, but sometimes we realize we’re in the presence of great love. When Grandpa talked to my dad and I a couple months before he died he talked about how Grandma Evelyn would always be his great love. That was really the first time I ever saw the depth of life-long love.
I suppose God wanted to hammer that point home for me since sometimes I miss the obvious. A couple rows behind Grandma and Grandpa was a woman tending a grave. She was cleaning and pruning it the whole time we were there. There was such intense love in the way she trimmed the grass and scrubbed the headstone. I hope at some point in my life I love someone so much that I spend Memorial Day pruning the grass around their headstone.