#24 A long overdue visit

In the past 4 years, Blake and I lost 5 of our grandparents. I don’t think many people can find the right words to describe their thoughts on death, and I won’t claim to have the right words myself.  But here is one of my attempts at it…

I don’t like that it still remains such a mystery, and forever will be.  I sometimes think that the entire concept of religion came to be because people were simply just trying to understand death.  And Jesus was the number one, world’s best salesman because he sold most of the world on something we want to hear and want to desperately believe- that there is an afterlife and we will see our family again one day.

I don’t like that I sit here and hold my infant child with such an overwhelming feeling of love, and it occurs to me that my grandmothers once did the same.  I don’t like time, for this reason.

Alice Faye Minnema

My grandmother passed away before I was born. My grandfather passed away when I was 15.  They are buried next to eachother in  Lodi, but for many reasons I never visited their gravesite since my Grandfather’s funeral. I didn’t remember where it was and I didn’t ask. For me, hearing and telling stories was all I needed to mourn and remember.

But, with the more recent deaths of our Grandparents, I realized I wanted to know and wanted to visit (#24). At first I told myself it was out of respect, but then I started thinking that is such a cliche phrase -‘out of respect’- what does it really mean? I’ve always respected my grandparents. Do my grandparents know whether I visit out of respect? Maybe? Who’s it for? I don’t know. But, I reason that I did it for myself and I did it for my Dad.  Out of respect for our family.  We drove together out to Lodi, had a great visit, and placed orange tulips at his parents site.  It was nice.  I didn’t know they had tulips engraved on their stones, so I was very pleased it fell into place so nicely.

I’m not sure how often I will visit now that I know where they are buried. It’s not exactly local, but I have passed thru the area before so maybe I will make it a point next time I find myself nearby.  For now, Blake and I have our own tribute that will always be in our home.

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