This I Believe

Eileen - Catonsville, Maryland
Entered on October 29, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: children, death

A Mother’s Thoughts at the Grave of her Child

The grass, what little there is of it is a dusty brown. Chickweed and dandelion reign over the small patch of earth that covers your grave. You wouldn’t mind, I know, yet it troubles me that there are no flowers that grow on your grave. You would no doubt be intrigued by the native species of weeds that have found the will to live here.

The tokens left at your grave make me wonder. Who left the little plastic bracelet the tin can flower sculpture, and most recently the little blue alien?

What memories do those who bring these gifts to you have that I cannot share? The painted rock I brought several years ago is now just another rock, no trace left of the kitty you would have liked. The geode you once held in your hand stays ever faithful, sometimes partially buried, sometimes a few feet away, probably thrown by the mower.

The day the worms came was so very strange. They showed up on a warm sunny day in great numbers. What was that about? Maybe I really don’t want to know. It is still surreal to me, coming to your grave. I never can stay very long. I brush the dirt from The Virgin Mary charm and tuck it back away in the grass so that others who visit this “Jewish” cemetery are not disconcerted by her presence here. I burn your favorite Nag Champa and leave while the smoke is still rising.

What would it matter if the dry grass caught fire? Who could it hurt after all?

And now, coming back into myself and reading what I have had to distance myself from in order to put my thoughts on paper, I remember how you loved all creatures. How when you were a little girl you let the fat slugs crawl along your arms delighting in the glistening slime trails they left in their tracks. Next time I come to your grave I will take greater care with the incense. We wouldn’t want to harm your worms.


September 2006