Thursday, October 10, 2013

Show Me A Sign

As I drove towards Maple Grove Cemetery, I could feel the rage well up inside me.  All I wanted to do was yell at those people responsible for my family not being like the Walton's.  Like dominoes toppling, all the pain of my misspent youth flashed through my mind in a flood of very brief memories. My only problem was that those people could no longer hear my angry voice or see the pain they had caused during their lifetimes. Problem or not, I still had to tell them what I thought and how I felt.  I had to beg them to listen to me.  Crazy? You betcha!  But crazy or not, I had a mission to complete.

I drove slowly as I entered the graveyard.  The paths were narrow, but I was able to maneuver my car and park along side the final resting places of my father, his parents and his sister.  I grabbed the silk tulips I had purchased earlier and opened the car door.  I sat there for a moment contemplating the speech I was about to give.  Tears started to roll down my cheeks as I stood and walked forward.  The sun glistened through the trees atop the hill and a slight breeze welcomed me by chilling my hot tears as they continued to wet my face.

There before me was my captive audience.  I remained silent as I cleaned each grave marker and placed a single tulip upon each.  I sat there for a moment soaking in the sun and the serenity, but got angry all over again when the thought of how unfair it was for these people to be in such peaceful surroundings. Quickly, I scrambled to my feet and stood there looking down at their graves.  The time was now! My speech was loud and emotional.  I waved my hands and even stamped my foot a few times.  I stopped several times to catch my breath and when I was finished I asked my father if he was listening to me.  I didn't expect the skies to suddenly open, but some sign...something small, but meaningful would have been nice. Just as I had in life, death was no different.  I got no answer. Again, I was ignored.

My next stop was to visit my other set of grandparents.  My visit there would be much different.  There would be no anger...just a heartfelt apology.  I had been such an embarrassment and disappointment to them for several years before they passed away.  This was something I needed to do as much as I had needed to yell at my father and his side of my family. As with my last stop, I rolled slowly into the tiny cemetery and parked next to their graves.  There was no hesitation this time as I opened the door, stood up and walked around my car facing Nana and Grampie's headstone.  I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks and started to laugh and cry all at the same time.  I had gotten the sign I asked for.  Daddy dearest had listened afterall! There atop my grandparents' headstone, was a humongous roll of duck tape.  It was the largest roll I had ever seen and as everyone knows, you can fix ANYTHING with duck tape. I was now equipped with a roll big enough to last me the rest of my life, but the only thing I've had to fix so far was an old pair of shoes as they fell apart while I was working in my garden.


  1. Growing up I thought everyone else's family was like the brady bunch and only mine was dysfunctional. When I got older I finally realized that most families have a lot of disorder. This realization isn't startling I guess but it did make me feel a little better.

    1. I knew mine was a little off the mark early on, but I improvised and did the best with what I was given.

  2. So glad you got 'your sign'
    this post brought little tear ...