For two years we passed it every day on our way to the farm where my parents were building a house. My mother patiently answered any and all of my questions. To a second grader death does not seem as much of a reality as life.
I pass that same cemetery each day as I drive to the market and not much has changed, the same three crosses stand on the hill, the lawn is still beautifully manicured, the awnings still pop up on random days in random locations.
Just left of the entrance by a little grove of trees is an area with hundreds of little bunches of flowers placed neatly in little rows. It always seemed a bit odd to me until the one day I drove into the drive way and sat in one of those green covered folding chairs under one of those seemingly random placed awnings in that little corner by the road.
The young couple so dear to my heart sat catatonic in the front row with parents at their side. My dear friend could barely get through Amazing Grace. The pastor cried as he spoke of a loving God and the pure innocence of children who pass before the world has had a chance to corrupt their soul...and baby Emma Marie was laid to rest... she died just short of her due date and would be two years old this month.
Yes, death was hard for my young heart to understand when I first passed by those three big crosses, but now...death holds a whole new meaning...it is final... heaven or hell is the destination not that little plot of land where flowers or headstones reside.
In just a few short hours I will once again pass by that same cemetery, that same little corner by the grove of trees peppered with flowers. I will again pray for the families the green awning represents, if necessary, I will stop for the procession.
But today...today... I will remember the anguish contained in the sob of a mother who lost her only daughter. I will remember the sorrow in those beautiful eyes as the glimmer of hope for more that one child was laid to rest. I will pray even more vigilant for that young mother I have grown to love more each and every day.
Today, I will remember Emma Marie, daughter of Mikey and Amanda, little sister of Riley, grand daughter of Jeanna Marie, niece of Dede, great grand daughter of Delola and great niece of mine.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." ~NIV