Down Memory Lane

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By Joyce Caughron Rhodes


When we travel down our ‘Memory Lane’ we naturally come to the path called ‘Death.’
This is one that we would like to avoid, but sooner or later, we will travel on this path. When our mind drifts back to our love ones, who are no longer with us, many memories come rushing forward. We have heard the expression “Silence is Golden.”
So, if silence is golden, then the graveyard is a treasure. It is a treasure because that’s where our love ones’ bodies are buried.
I probably sound a little strange, when I say I love to walk in a cemetery. Have you ever noticed how quiet it is and peaceful? If you really listen, you can hear the birds chirping, the gentle rustle of the soft wind kissing the leaves, causing them to dance with delight. Sometimes you can hear a cricket and off in the distance, the low bark of a dog.
I love to wander around, reading the names on the various tombstones. Some of the names I recognize and some I don’t.
When we go to our love ones’ tombstones, the weather of our emotions come flooding back.
We think of so many things, good or bad, but never the less, it’s our memories. Have you ever thought which would be the hardest to handle, knowing a person died or not finding out until a couple of days later?
This brought on the memory of my parents’ death. I was sitting in a chair in the hospital, next to my Daddy’s bed. He had been ill for over two years and we had been told that he probably wouldn’t live through the day.
I was watching his struggle for each breath. We all know the spirit leaves the body when a person dies. I wondered, “Will I see his spirit, like a strange mist or vapor, when he takes his last breath?” No, I didn’t.
Two years later, I traveled this same path. I had been to visit my Mother on a Sunday afternoon.
I saw or talked to her many times through the week.
She had been in bad health for several years. I tried to get her to go home with me, but she said, “I really need to stay here.” I didn’t call her on Monday, but on Tuesday, I received a call, “Your Mother has passed away!” It seems a family friend had carried her lunch on Monday and she called out to Momma.
When she didn’t answer, she assumed she was in the bathroom and left the food on the coffee table. She was back the next day and saw the food that she had brought the day before, still there. The undertaker informed us that we would not get to see her. They said she had fallen, hit her head and died from loss of blood. Since we didn’t see her, it was like a fuzzy dream that didn’t happen. Several years later, I would think of something and tell myself, “I need to call Momma.” Then I would think, “No, I can’t.” So, it really is hard to tell which is the hardest to bare. I guess they both are, because any way you think about it, they are gone.
Isn’t it wonderful we have memories and family pictures, to re-live our days with them?
Each person, visiting a grave, has a kaleidoscope of memories. How long has it been since you’ve visited a love one’s grave? If you are upset, trying to make a very important decision or just need a break, go to a cemetery and the peace will put everything into perspective.

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