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Posted 12/9/2013



He’s sitting cross-legged, whistling a soft tune that seems to embrace the rustling of the nearby trees. A light breeze makes the red and yellow leaves dance their autumnal waltz. Today is his birthday and like every year, he knows that they will come because they always do. Time passes slowly as he waits but he doesn’t care because he stands above such concepts as time. He acknowledges its inevitable existence but it doesn’t matter to him; the only thing that counts is that today is his birthday.

In his mind’s eye, he tries to picture them. Certainly, they have all grown older, got more wrinkles on their faces, more scars on body and soul. But as much as they grew in age they also grew in strength. Every scar is a symbol for one of life’s victories and this makes him so utterly proud of all of them and everything they accomplished. If only he were able to tell them. But they will come today, to visit him. He remembers the flowers they brought him last year, white lilies with a sweet fragrance that stayed with him for long. Which flowers will they bring this time?

And as he wonders, he can hear their footsteps approaching. Finally, there they are: his family. Instantly, he starts to smile and resists the urge to spread his arms wide as if to hug them all in one huge embrace. As always, it is the best thing in the world for him when they come because it is so hard and difficult to visit them himself. It’s so much easier like this.

The first one he sees is his wife who has some trouble to walk steadily on the tiny pebbles of the path. She has become old but to him she looks like on the first day he saw her, the day she entered his life and made him happy. His love for her will never be broken and in her eyes, he can see the same deep emotions. He longs to reach out for her, touch her, kiss her, tell her everything but he restrains himself. On her right side, his son is walking straight towards him. The man is having that grim look on his face that is so typical for him. But deep inside he’s a very kind and loving man: his father’s pride and joy. He wishes to tell him what a wonderful person his son became, give him some advice, have a man-to-man talk.  And then there is his daughter-in-law walking a little behind the others, her round belly being the obvious reason. When he observes this, a small tear of joy runs down his cheek and he is happy beyond measurement. Another child he will watch over as best as he can. Maybe this time it will be a girl, he thinks before he sees his grandson on his mother’s hand. Like the usual toddler the little boy struggles to maintain his balance and to walk the whole way. What a wonderful child!

After a while, they are all lined up in front of him. His wife brought some orange petunias today that look absolutely lovely. Their petals sway slightly in the autumnal afternoon breeze as he admires them. He feels happy, content, and above all much loved. His grandson’s small hands hold a crumbled yellow leave. Here grampa, says the boy as he puts this cherished gift on the grave before him. Smiling, he sits cross-legged on his tombstone, whistles his melody and knows that although they cannot see nor hear him that he will always be there for them.


In Memoriam...