I want to call my mom. Better yet, I would like to have a cup of coffee with her and sit with her in the breakfast nook of our house on Maxwell (in Cheyenne).
I miss her. It is an ache I can not explain nor put into words. All I know is hearing her voice on this earth made everything okay. I did save phone messages from her that I replay often. But it isn’t the same.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Arlington National Cemetery Arlington Virginia
Backside of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Front side of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I galloped into this area with typical Meg enthusiasm and shouted to a tourist with a camera, “Is this the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?” He gave me a stern look and the universal shush signal with a finger over his lips. Suddenly, I realized this was a sacred place in terms of being silent. Not sure if I described that well. But I knew suddenly that you are not supposed to make noise in this area. I guess coming right from my mom’s funeral/inurnment, I was in a noise making way since the funeral was a quiet exercise in introspection and reflection.
I took some photos here and then walked back towards the path to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. I saw a rain print of a bird on the stone path. It rained heavily before my mom’s funeral as we sat in the Arlington National Cemetery parking lot. The rain stopped and the sun came out for my mom’s funeral. I almost expected to see a rainbow. Instead, I felt one in my heart. So many colors inside my soul, bright and buoyant.
This is a stone in my neighborhood, far from Arlington. I pass it on my daily walk. It is located in an overgrown garden of a giant Southern house desperately in need of a paint job. An old black lady stands on the porch with her broom and sweeps the dust off in summer. She waves to me and my son. The stone says, ” If tears could build a stairway and thoughts a memory lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.”
This line is from a longer poem:
If Tears Could Build a Stairway
If tears could build a stairway
and thoughts a memory lane
I’d walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.
No Farewell words were spoken
No time to say good-bye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why.
My heart’s still active in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know.
But now I know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store.
Since you’ll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today
A hallowed place within my heart
Is where you’ll always stay.
– Author Unknown
Sign near Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
In courtyard near the Columbarium at Arlington national Cemetery after my mom’s funeral.
In front of my parents’ grave-site although it is not exactly a grave. I call it ash cubby).
When we drove into Arlington it was raining. We had to use umbrellas as we got out of the car. My nephew smoked a cigarette outside the car while we waited for the rain to pass. it was pouring, pellets dropping on our forest green jeep. We were parked in the lot for funerals. We were far from tourists. In drizzled on us after the hard rain passed. We went inside.
We followed the black government plated sedan to the funeral site.
The rest was a series of acute blurs that drift into memory thick — unannounced.
I believe in angels; I have to.