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Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Sixth Sense

We were running a little early this morning. Georgie, Norah and I had well over a half hour to burn before Georgie had to be in school, so the kids (although oblivious to what a cemetery is, since I never really found the need, or desire, to explain it to them) asked to walk around the "park" behind the church. The church/school was built in the 1700's, and most of the graves are over 200 years old. Most of these have not been visited in decades; these are the ones I love to visit. I try to imagine the people buried there, what their lives were like, and how they died. I tend to steer clear of the newer plots. The graves that are still very new, still just a pile of dirt and freshly cut flowers are too depressing for this early in the day.

As I walked this morning, Georgie was walking his usual 10 feet behind me, happily humming to himself and kicking an acorn down the path. Norah, holding onto my finger, pointed out the birds and squirrels, and the occasional plane flying overhead. When we came closer to the end of the path, Georgie looked up and focused intently on a little bench a few feet away.

"Look, Mom!" He pointed to the bench sitting under a tree. "There's my friend!"

I looked up, thinking I'd find one of his classmates standing around, waiting for school to start, like we were.

"I don't see anybody, buddy. Who do you see?"

"The little girl over there. She's very sad today."

"Oh, ok. I'm sorry she's so sad. Maybe you can make her happy again." I started to blow him off since my children have quite the imagination, and we have had dozens of imaginary friends in and out of our lives over the years.

"No, Mom. That little girl wants to play with me but she can't. She's very sad because she can't breathe." He sighed, looking very sad himself, and then continued, still looking in the direction of the bench. "She wants to come to school with me, but she can't, right Mommy? She has to stay here in the grass. She's very, very sad. I wish she wasn't dead anymore so I can play with her."

He pointed again towards the direction of the bench, and then I remembered something about that little corner of the cemetery. At the very end of the path, a few feet from the little bench, there is a very special grave that I visit on occasion. It is the grave of a three-year-old girl who died almost 20 years ago.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know when you told me this, it is a mixture of wow that is cool yet a little spooky & then at the same time it's so sad to think of a 3 yr old passing away.

My heart always goes out to the little ones at the cemetaries. And like you, I like to see the older graves....kind of makes you think of what their lives had to be like back then.


September 18, 2007 at 7:27 PM  

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