Tell Me Your Story

The summer sun beat down on my head as I walked through the tall grass.

Large, ornate monuments stood in stark contrast to the row of small stone crosses laid out in two straight rows.  Crypts surrounded by leaning iron fences, and simple headstones worn nearly smooth from years of sun and rain.

The breeze was tinged with the briny smell of the marsh as the clouds rolled in and brought a brief respite from the blazing heat. I walked and read  each name carefully; wondering who they were, and how they died. I wanted to know each person’s story that resides between the two dates on their headstone.

There were Irish immigrants who proudly listed their county of origin, and soldiers and sailors from all the past wars. Confederate and Union, brothers united again under the towering live oak trees.

There were mysteries as well. The grave with a beach cruiser parked against the small fence. The small mementos left on the ground bearing witness that someone still visits, still mourns the loss of this person no longer walking on earth.

The most heartbreaking were the graves of the babies, the dates too close together. The teddy bears, and the small toys that surround a tiny headstone brought tears to my eyes. I stopped before each one, and offered a brief prayer.

I spent the afternoon walking row by row, but the one I was searching for remained hidden from my view. The sky sprinkled me with her tears, as if sensing my frustration.

I gave up as the clouds grew thicker, and the spanish moss began dancing wildly in the trees.

As I walked to the car I felt those souls whispering to me: “My life is a story.”

© annettealaine-2013

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