Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reflections in a Cemetery

I was online at Starbucks this morning. At this location salespeople tend meet with prospective clients. I was in line behind a salesman. His client walked in and the salesman greeted him and said "what will you have, I'll get it." The client said no thank you, mine is free today. The salesman was puzzled and just looked at his client, finally asking "Why?" I figured I'd help the salesman out. I turned to the client, who was standing behind me and said to him "Thank you for your service, sir." The gentleman replied "it was an honor to serve." The salesman hit himself on the head and said "I forgot it was Veterans Day." I don't know if he'll get the sale, but at least he was honest and didn't try to cover.

I took my coffee and on the way home drove to Woodlawn Cemetery in Gotha, FL. We have two friends who are buried there, both were veterans who served honorably and were blessed to return home and live their lives with family and friends. While I will never reside in a cemetery (my wishes are cremation and scatter), I believe in honoring those who have gone before me and if that means they have chosen to be in a cemetery, I am comfortable making a visit there.  

I expected the cemetery would be busy with people honoring those who no longer live along us. I was wrong. As I drove through the different lanes and paths I could not see anyone else. It was after nine in the morning but there were no other cars or visitors in evidence. Did everyone come before nine or was everyone coming afterwards? I know I cannot be the only one. I parked in an one area and walked along the memorial stones, paying respects to several graves adorned with US flags. It was very quiet and very peaceful. 

I had my dog in the car. Of course, he never left the car - I would not ever let him out at the cemetery. This was his first and maybe only car ride in a cemetery. He sat looking out the window as I drove the lanes. He watched from inside the car when I walked on the paths. He never made a sound. . . .until- 

I had a hard time finding one friend's grave because the area in which he rests has been remarkably landscaped to include a rock stream, garden and small bridge. When I was about to give up I stopped the car at one final row and prepared to get out to walk down the lane, looking for the grave. That is when my dog starting barking like crazy, straining against the window , barking and looking at . . . nothing? 

There were no people, no squirrels, no cats, no turkeys and no peacocks in this area (we had seen turkeys and peacocks in a different area and the dog didn't even care). Now, in this one area Keeper suddenly sensed. . . . something that caused him to bark while wagging his tail. I stayed in the car until he calmed down and behaved by sitting quietly. Then I opened the door and got out. He remained looking out the window with his tail wagging. 2/3 of the way down the row, I found my friend's grave, said a prayer of thanks for his service and came back to the car. Keeper was sitting quietly on the back seat. It was then that I realized that our friend, Jim, had met Keeper once, before he took sick. Jim is the only resident in that cemetery that ever met Keeper. 

As strange as it all sounds, I believe Keeper was aware of something.

That is how I honored Veteran's Day today. No Veteran's Day sales for me.

I have two questions for you today. Do you have any traditions for Veteran's day? Do you think I will bring Keeper with me the next time I go to the cemetery? 



Vickie said...

When I got to the bank this morning, I knew why it was closed, because I had read your post. So no, not many traditions around here.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie - the post office was closed today, too. Yet the post office delivered parcels shipped via Amazon to me today. They also deliver parcels on Sunday now. - Talk about traditions dying!