At some point this weekend, Claire popped her head around the corner of my bathroom door and asked, “Mom, what’s Memorial Day about again?” I answered her before I realized she wasn’t really asking; she was reminding me. “Right, so we’re going to put flowers on Ellery’s grave?”
Right. She remembers every year. Maybe it’s because of Claire’s nudging or because I just added their birth story as its own page here on my blog, but, for whatever reason, I was more eager than usual this year to make the short trip out to the cemetery. Sometimes I forget to think about that tall white marble stone etched with the prettiest name I’ve ever put together; I hate for people to worry that I’m not healed or moving on with the beautiful life He’s given after our loss.
I remember visiting cemeteries with my great-grandmother and feeling a special sacredness about the whole thing – as well as some trepidation. (This particular grandmother got after us for walking across where the bodies were buried . . . is that standard?) I don’t think I’ve instilled that same sense of awe very well, but I did ask the kids as we piled out of the van with our beach bucket full of garden roses to please be respectful.
They did a great job. Granny Grubbs would have been sure the stone was going to fall over and crush one of them while they hugged it, and posed around it, and traced it’s script words: Ellery Blythe White – Our Glory Baby. But it worked for us. Maybe someday we’ll plant some purple petunias or add a smooth rock garden, but for now our simple offering will do. We didn’t stay long, but we remembered.