I visited Mamma and Daddy again Christmas Eve.It's something I do every year.My routine is to arrive at the cemetery about 4:45 PM, just as the Sun is in the last part of setting.I brought with me an ornament ... this time a candy cane ... and hung it on the pole that stands in the middle of the plot.I stood there in the crisp evening air and began our visit.I'm never shy about talking to them to assure them that I miss them.We talk about Christmases past and I catch them up on all the current events both good and bad.
This is always the perfect time for our Christmas visit ... For 26 years,every year,we have had the whole place to ourselves.I had never been disturbed and expected nothing different this time ... Then He was there.
He said"Can I stand here with you for a while?".I felt a little angry at first but Isaw he was sad so I said 'Sure".He talked of his two wives,buried behind me about 50 feet.His second wife had died just this Thanksgiving Day.As he talked I kept looking down at Mama and Daddy,wishing I could finish what I was doing,wishing I could say goodbye.
He was sooo nice ... a country man,probably a Farmer.I looked down and saw a small dog beside him.I learned that it was his second wife's,their child he said.He told me story after story.I told him mine.
Soon it was 6:00 and pitch dark.We shook hands,said Merry Christmas,and I walked back to my car.I blew a kiss to my parents.Then I sat for a moment and watched this humble man kneel down at the graves of his companions,and his own also.
As I left I felt different.Peaceful,no tears this time.As I stood talking with him I kept thinking that maybe I was helping HIM,letting him talk like he did.Instead it was ME who was helped.I realize now that Mama and Daddy have not left me,they are just waiting for me to join them.