A memoir about visiting Grandma's grave 98 views only 5 ratings please R&R!
| “I’m heading into town to the store now, we need milk and eggs for breakfast tomorrow,” Grandpa announced to those gathered in the room.
“Joan and Matt can go in and help you,” My Dad replied.
Not really being close to my Grandpa due to a very large impersonal family, I hesitated, but my dad’s look gave me the final answer I needed.
“Oh yeah we’d love to go in with you Grandpa.” I was thinking, oh well there’s nothing better to do around here anyway.
“Alright, just push the flowers in the backseat of the car to the side,” Grandpa said referring to three containers, two small and one big.
The entire ride to town was silent except for some radio talk show with callers calling in complaining about some sort of farm country politics. It was too boring for me to try to follow. Not that the scenery was much more exciting. Eight miles of straight-aways with ninety-degree angles separating fields, pasturelands, and cornrows mind bogglingly straight.
When we reached town Grandpa kept driving past the only grocery store in the miniature town.
“Got something I got to do first,” Grandpa mumbled.
I expected him to stop in at the gas station, but after passing that I wondered if it could be the hardware store. Since Grandpa retired farming he had taken up carpentry and small contracting work as something to keep busy, so maybe he need to pick up some supplies from there. After passing that up as well I thought well maybe he needs to get something from the church, but we turned just before reaching there.
We turned on to an old worn road with creepy dark woods all around us. I wanted to ask where we were going, but deep down I knew. Finally the flowers in back made sense. Back and forth the winding road took us and I thought of the few times I had been on this road. The memories were of when I was at least nine years younger so they weren’t very vivid, but somehow I still remember.
Sure enough the car slowed as we reached the place I was dreading. Today was Memorial Day; those flowers were for Grandma and two of my uncles.
We all climbed out of the car and Grandpa handed Matt and I each a flower pot to carry. I could tell Matt didn’t want to be there by the look on his face. He was scared, and his eyes were pleading –Do I have to do this? But no words were exchanged and we all walked over to the graves and stood there for a minute. It was just long enough to notice the chill in the air, or maybe it was the chill down my spine.
I thought about Grandma and how she died on my birthday, and how when I was younger I thought I was cursed or something. Then I thought about Matt and how he stood next to me not knowing any of the people buried here. I realized how lucky I was to have known Grandma even though I didn’t know either of the two uncles. Then I thought about how my birthday is now more of a remembrance of her, and not a day to dwell on.
I shivered again as Grandpa bent down to lay Grandma’s flowers by her grave. Then he took Matt’s flowers first and mine last and set them each by an uncle’s grave.
After pulling a few weeds from around the graves Grandpa motioned Matt and I back to the car. Grandpa came back carrying a beautiful pink bud that had fallen off of Grandma’s plant. He handed it to me saying, “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”