|Mother and Dad at my sister Joyce's grave, July 1952|
Forgive me, dead people, for all the things I didn't appreciate while you lived. Forgive me.
Tom and I dawdled up to Heber today and ate Kentucky Fried chicken in a parking lot. Not exactly a picnic, but we get by as best we can. We laid pots of flowers bought at Smith Marketplace on the gravesites, including Elva's. What I missed was Elva giving us a running commentary about the dead. Good stories. She always said, "No one will come here when I'm gone."
Over our dead bodies. I skip my own parents, but I'd never skip decorating Elva's grave.
Then we drove to the Salt Lake Cemetery and placed a pot of flowers on my sister Joyce's grave, who has been dead almost sixty three years. My mother must be 29 and my father 34 when the photo above was taken.
Then onto grand-daugher Lucy's grave. She and Joyce both lived four months. Sharon Kamerath, Lucy's other grandmother, lies just beyond Lucy's grave. Someone had left a handful of buttons on her gravesite. That's because Sharon has let the living know that she's still around by showing up as stray buttons in odd places. Just like she promised before she died.
I don't know what to make of the dead.
That we are born at all seems so implausible. So I'm pretty much stumped by the living as well.
I skipped my parents. Still mad at my father for buying burial plots on Redwood Road, the ugliest cemetery in the city.
I like to keep that fight going.