“To be Remembered”
Today was flower day.
I took my client, who is just a couple of short months away from being 100, out to the two cemeteries where her family resides.
Like always, it was errand day, where we were out and about getting groceries and other needed items. I had a car full of groceries and cemetery day is usually a two or three hour process. I squelched my sigh as best as I could, trying not to think of the food that was rapidly thawing in the surprisingly muggy weather.
I took her to a local store where I could get the car close to where the flowers were kept. Peering through the chain link fence, she asked me to look at the pretty red Daisies that had caught her attention.
“They have to be in bloom. I don’t see any geraniums, do you? They last longer.” She looked anxiously through the fence.
As I parked the car, I assured her I’d take a good look around and make sure to choose the nicest ones.
She had mentioned only getting a flower for her husband’s grave so I double checked, “Just one? Or do you want to do your parents?”
“I want to do my sister’s. Then there is my son’s…”
“Want me to get 10 then? Like usual?” At her nod, I left the car with her laughter following me as I shouted, “Don’t let anyone steal you!”
I took time to look through all the flowers, making sure to pick the nicest, fullest, brightest plants.
As we went to the cemeteries, I was reminded that she’s nearing 100. 100 years of love and death. She pointed at homes along the roads we were on, family members who lived in those homes are now in the cemeteries we visited. 100 years of family and friends. A 100 years of joy and sorrow.
So as I placed the chosen flowers on her family’s graves, I took the time to clean the dead leaves and cut grass off of the stones. I pruned the flowers that we had put on the stones at Easter that were still blooming and made sure to collect any trash.
And I stood in for my client.
I cared for her family in her stead. As she stifled her tears of being the last of her family, I became her feet. I represented her love as I became her hands.
I could have rushed through putting the flowers out, but it was a moment to remind my client that she is known and she is loved.
We all want to be remembered.
We all want to know that we will be missed.
We all want to be known.
We want someone to care.
And ultimately, we want someone to miss us when we are gone.
In our care of our cemeteries, we are telling each other how we will remember our loved ones. And sadly, we don’t necessarily do it very well. Hundreds, if not thousands, of local cemeteries are disappearing as nature reclaims the land. Loved ones of ages past are disappearing from sight and memories.
So, I will be my client’s feet, as she expresses her love to her family. I will take the time to show respect to people I have never met. Because I want to be remembered as well.
I could have rushed through the day, but it was more important to care for my client and her heart. Groceries can wait.