Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Subtle...real subtle

Again today I spent time at the cemetery crying and apologizing. Some of the things I heard myself saying included, "It was my fault, we both know that. Despite all the platitudes and the nice things people say, it was my job to give you life and I failed. I don't understand this. I understand THAT (pointing to a nearby grave of an 80-something man)...but I don't understand THIS. He had a life...a family...love...sorrow...a wife...children...grandchildren. It's my fault you didn't get any of that. I just want you back. I want you back and alive. Where are you? I want to be angry at God. I want to hate God. But I need to know that you are with God. I need to know he loves you. I need to know God loves me enough to be taking care of you."

I sat for a very long time and pondered God and heaven. I got no answers and heard nothing but the hum of a nearby band saw echoing through the trees into the silence of the cemetery. I got in my car and drove out, spotting a headstone that I had never seen before...or had never recognized before. The name in big bold letters? KINGDOM I laughed because the first thing I thought was, "Well Jill won't be able to say THAT'S a common name."

I was about to leave the cemetery and got this urge to drive past the various baby graves. There are really three section devoted to babies in that cemetery, aside from the random babies who are buried near other family sites (like Alex). I got out of my car and pulled up some of the weather worn pinwheels we put out at the 4th of July. And I thought how long ago that seems now. So long that most of the pinwheels had been bleached white by the sun. I talked to the babies and spoke some of their names out loud. And I wondered about Hope Keel 1952, with no headstone...only the temporary marker provided by the funeral home. I wonder what happened...what was her story? Does she know my Alex now?

I drove home feeling a bit tired and empty inside. A good cry at the cemetery often does that for me. But as I pulled in the driveway and looked around (I always say hi to my girls and watch them graze a bit), something odd caught my eye. A dragonfly...and another...and another...and another...

There must have been dozens of them...flitting about...soaring and diving and whizzing by my car window. I started to cry and laugh and shake. Oh my God...what a beautiful sight. I smiled and said out loud, "All right already...I get it."

(I did grab my crappy digital camera and tried to capture some video...I'll have to see if anything came out on it at all to share.)


Lisa P. said...

I am so amazed that Alex manages to send you all these wonderful flying things... butterflies, dragonflies, etc. He's looking out for you.

kate said...

What a beautiful sign and a beautiful sight! I can see it in my mind's eye...thank you for sharing it!

Jill said...

Dragonflies are very symbolic. They mean a change of tide when seen in pairs. I think. But they are a very powerful thing so Alex must know something you don't:)Anyway, let me google that to be sure!

And Kingdom - was that a FIRST name?

Julie said...

Hope Keel... now that is an unusual name.
An adequate description, too.

Love the dragonflies. I've been seeing (or at least noticing) more butterfiles lately. They're beautiful. There was this little white moth-type thing flitting around Nick's grave on Saturday. Josh actually pointed it out to me; it was all around his face for a good bit.