Tuesday, August 6, 2013

if I wait here, will you come?

on sunday morning we looked for the place where they buried my aunt.  at 9.30 in the morning the cemetery was quiet and more impressively manicured and still than I had remembered. when we were last here we stood in the sun and waited amongst family members young and old, and some people we had never met before. I wondered how they knew her.

but on sunday the car park was empty as were the grounds, save for three people we passed standing by gravestones dotted throughout the gardens.

we had a map, my late aunt's husband is an architect and my brother had given me extra directions over email, to what was an already clear and detailed diagram. still, we got lost. there were graves with colour coordinated flowers (yellow and white), one with a pale pink balloon and one direction trinkets, some had oval framed pictures set into gravestones.

I had secretly hoped to find her myself but was relieved when tony found the place.

a big box of red roses that had bloomed rested next to the small stone marker which held a name plate. I didn't know her middle name until that moment, though it made sense being her mother's name. I stroked the rose petals as I read the name plate, suddenly desperate to touch something. I thought I had come to remember her but suddenly I craved tactility.

we returned the next day, cutting through lanes of traffic so as not to miss the turn off. we stopped at the cemetery up the road to buy flowers from the 7 days a week, 365 days a year florist.

I chose the brightest thing I could find, and something to complement the big box of roses that was already there only when we found her again, the box was gone, leaving only rose petals scattered around her stone.

I set down my box of flowers and made a groove for it in the dirt. then I quietly started work on the petals, rearranging them around her stone so none were lost or wasted on the ground. as I busied myself, a thought crept into my head. if i waited here, would she come to me?

previously I had thought it would be enough to find the place but at that moment I knew it was not.

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