I set out to go deliver my red, white and blue Memorial flowers that I made that year.
Hoping I’ll be able to find my grandpa’s at Fort Snelling cemetery as it is so huge.
It was bigger than the last time I was there when grandpa died 21 years ago.
To my relief, there was a directory there.
Forest Lawn does not have one.
I can’t find my family at Forest Lawn, but its more peaceful.
I didn’t like Fort Snelling, it’s too big.
Its was too straight, too uniformed.
I felt chills, this is where the soldiers were placed to rest.
It was too loud there.
I found Grandpa S. on the hill near a pine tree.
I placed his tree in front of his stone, kind of had to pull out a little grass so it would stay.
I was sitting in front of the stone, on top of him.
He had some fresh carnations delivered.
I looked at them and took one that was crooked, a little defective, after all, they were his flowers.
Then he said to me.
Robin you are not defective, go ahead and take another one.
I laughed and said ok.
I didn’t know what else to say, but sorry it took me so long to come back.
I hated cemeteries, and death.
Then he said, ok then, you can get off my lap and I saw his smile.
He was man of few words but he was understood.
Then I searched for my Grandpa R., he was directly down that hill on flat land.
My uncle Bill was buried on top of him.
His name was on the other side of the stone.
So put a tree on each side.
Then I heard my grandpa singing Rock-a-bye baby to me.
I saw that picture of him holding me with those blue knitted slippers
just a newborn. He died soon after.
Something bothered me about his tone of that song.
I turned to the other side and said hi Billy.
I really miss you.
I saw him in that station wagon smiling at me while I was at the corner heading to school.
I knew he was checking in on me and didn’t want me to spot him, I just knew that.
He loved me, it said it in his smile and I knew that.
I didn’t have him for long, he died when I was 10.
Some kids at school knew before me.
I was told to go home immediately, I ran all the way home out of breath.
My dad was there, he left us a while ago.
I was barely in the door when they told me.
I screamed a shriek so loud it startled me.
I couldn’t breathe.
My uncle who loved me, was dead and he was only 22.
The first piece of blood that died on me.
Billy said hey kiddo..
I laughed I forget he said that to me.
I said whets up with grandpa
and he said, well I think has wondering why I’m buried here.
I’m not a soldier or a soldier’s wife.
I’m not telling him mom married again.
Then he told me he didn’t like it there, it was loud and he hated the screams of all the soldiers.
Yeah he was right, he didn’t belong.
I wondered how come nobody realized that?
He wasn’t a soldier.
He belonged at Forest Lawn,
there is peace there.
But what was I to do, go tell grandma.
Ya I know kiddo, nothing you can do, he said…
Then it got all quiet.
My cue it was time to go.
On my way back I headed to Forest Lawn and gave my unknown soldier his flowers.
He had a name but he didn’t know me.
Then I played him some music, trying to say something, It was a little awkward.
I just said I hope you like it.
Then I drove all over the cemetery with my car windows open, blasting my music,
I thought maybe then can hear and well if they can’t it doesn’t hurt.
I felt good about that.
I came across two stones right next to the sidewalk nearly all covered over in grass.
I trimmed the grass off so I could read the names. John and Marie…
I pictured this small housed and a couple sitting in their rockers on the front porch.
Their house was very close to a road.
The dates were late 1700′s I believe, I once wrote it down but I lost it.
I saw this young lady with sandy brown hair wearing a bonnet, it was windy and she was holding it against the wind.
She said in a southern voice, my goodness John, how you have grown. She was blushing big time.
He was in awe of her smile.
He was wearing a brown cowboy hat.
He just asked her to the town dance.
His hat in his hand, his sandy brown hair slightly long blowing in the wind.
He talked about how he got turned on when she ironed and blow the hair out of her eye and got all hot.
He never tired of her ever.
He was actually 10 years younger than her.
I liked that the souls were talking to me telling me their love stories.
This was so awesome.
I’m back in saddle is playing on the radio as he talked.
I actually went to the building to ask if they needed help with cleaning up the stones so their readable
But no one was there at the time.
Memorial day 2007