Monday, April 12, 2010

In Memory of...Everything


Yesterday, I went to my grandmother’s grave. I visited her every once in a while, because she was one of the people who raised me when I was a kid. I noticed how much I’ve changed on my attitude towards life. When I was a kid and I used to step on those cold, cement steps and see the millions of graves ahead of me; I did not care. I was a kid. I did not comprehend that there were tons of bodies rotting in wooden boxes underneath me. I would just go play around and look at the statues.

Now, I am eighteen. I realized that there are those same bodies that I saw not too many years ago. I dressed up nice this time and did not slip on just some polo shirt. I put on a nice suit for the evening, because I was meeting an important person, my grandmother.

I stood there in silence, while my family talked to grandma as if she were still there. I didn’t bother saying anything, because I believed that she could hear me without my voice. She could hear my thoughts and prayers from Up There, while I stay Down Here. After I told her my usual blessings, I talked about how much I’ve grown as a young man, how proud she would be of me now, and how I know she’s watching over me like she did when I was a little kid.

I held back some tears because I knew she doesn’t want me to cry, so I took a walk around the statues. I viewed them one by one with an analytical eye. One was a white statue of a mother holding her child in her arms. My mind flashed a memory of my mother doing the same to my brother when he first came home from the hospital.

Another statue was of a man teaching his son to walk.

Another memory flashes in my mind’s eye. My father held out his hands to me and asked me to take just one-step; even one-step was an improvement for him when I was learning to walk.

I had enough of all the memories I can handle, so I stopped staring at the statues and instead looked at the nature surrounding me. The trees were engraved with the names of lost ones. There were hearts around the names of lovers. There were drawings of smiling faces.

Memories flashed again and hit my brain like a hammer. The names I carved in the park with my friends. We all wanted to come back to the park one day to see if the tree was still there twenty years from now. We even assigned a date. It was our promise to never forget each other.

I rushed out of the cemetery and into the car because I couldn’t take it any longer. As we left, I stared out the window to see not only a graveyard filled with the dead but also a museum filled with memories.

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