For the past few years I’ve spent a day before Christmas with my oldest friend and traveling partner visiting the final resting places of our most dearly departed. The first year of the Annual Cemetery Visiting Day Tour was a rainy, dreary day that included wet heads, coconut soup and a Christmas Miracle. Being the unobservant person I am known to be I would have missed the Christmas Miracle entirely had it not been for my OFTP and her very observant eyes.
What, pray tell, is the Christmas Miracle? Well, only the most fantastic, unexplained mystery of all. It was a large heart-shaped ring of rye grass growing across the graves of my most dearly departed parents. It was so fantastic and mysterious we had to drive all the way back to Purvis to get a camera and then all the way again to the cemetery to take a picture of it. After the shock and awe of the Christmas Miracle we passed another miracle of sorts, a white sasanqua that wept its soft, wet petals over the graves beneath its branches. It was miraculous in its own right.
This year's tour wasn't quite as wet, but it was just as dreary of a day. We added a companion to our trip, the niece of my OFTP who just happens to be a distant cousin of my own. We drug the poor girl to the resting places of all of most dearly departed and forced her to listen to our stories of old. These are stories we don’t have to remember because we’ll never forget. Now, I’m sure she knows some things she wishes she could forget, like the circles we drove around old neighborhoods that were once part of a daily paths. Bless her for not getting carsick.
This year I made sure to bring my camera along in case there were any Christmas Miracles to witness. The first stop was my parents. They got a sparkly tree, the same one as last year but Daddy was thrifty so I know he understands.
Next, my brother-in-law. I didn’t have anything for him, but I did a little cleaning and complimented him on a job well done. *Wink* He knows what I’m talking about.
Then onto my OFTP’s dad, a man I admired much. I credit him for teaching me many things about the outdoors like how to fish and eat cold tamales out of a can. I could always depend on him for a firm hug around my neck anytime I saw his smiling face. He got a fancy tree from his daughter, but he already had a lovely display from his bride.
We then spent a few minutes in the area visiting with his parents and cousins, some of his favorite people. He did love his people.
Next we visited the grave of another one I admired much. He got a few acorns to remind him I was there. Standing there reading the engraving on his stone my very observant OFTP brought my attention to what was happening above the stone. Lo and Behold, another Christmas Miracle! Who is the mysterious seed sower? I don’t want to know. It is better off being a Miracle.
My grandparents are in the same cemetery, so I stopped to wish them happy as well.
This is where it usually ends, but this year I wanted to add one more stop. Off to the city cemetery we went to visit my other grandparents. My precious Granny lies for eternity between her gracious husband and her precious son, both whom went much too soon. There I was able to give a family tree lesson to my distant cousin so she could connect the branches. Little did she know she was going to visit her great, great uncle, the same one who played the baritone in the Woodsman of the World Marching band back in '27.
Next year I hope the weather will be our friend and we can add one more stop on the tour and visit my sister. She would be so pleased to see us both, I’m sure.
All in all it was a good day. A day that started with Sonic ice and ended with Newk’s breadsticks. Our heads stayed dry and because we were all together on the same journey our eyes stayed dry as well.
Till next year, and the next Miracle, Merry Christmas!