Scene and Story

It was Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day and I went out to the cemetery to pick up a live plant my Mother in Law had left at Jim's grave.  This is a yearly tradition.  She leaves a plant for a few days with the instructions for me to go pick it up and hang it in our yard later.


The cemetery is mostly quiet, but filled with the evidence of many visitors over the holiday weekend.

As I approach the small path to turn my car onto, I see a tall thin bearded man watering a grave site with a watering can that has a large sprinkling head.  I presume that there is newly seeded grass on the site and that the loss has been fairly recent as there is no headstone, just a number of artificial posies pushed in the ground where a stone would set,  the new grass evidence, and it's in the new addition of the cemetery. Just a couple of years ago, corn grew where his loved one is now buried.  He stand just across the path and about 25 feet North of my destination.  His long beard and hair are graying, About 50 percent salt and 50 percent pepper I'd say.  It's had to remember exactly because I didn't want to look too long.  You know, can't stare and all.  Except my mind was staring.  Staring at the thought of loss.  Wishing there was something I could call out to him that would be profound.  Hopeful.  Encouraging.  Even though I have no idea who he is, it's like he represented all who have recently lost someone.

But, I have nothing to say.   Not one word would come to me.

We exchanged looks briefly when I went to the back of my car.  After I tidied up the flower situation at Jim's headstone, I thought I'd take a picture.  Maybe I'd text it to the kids.  It's been a long time since I've done that and my oldest hasn't been able to come out here in awhile.

I walked to get back in the car, and realized he was looking my way.  I gave him a nod. 

As I took a quick look at the pictures I took, I once again realized that the real words of hope come from our Savior.  Which is why I put them on the headstone.  I knew I wanted the headstone to not just be a monument to Jim, but to be a monument of hope.


I'm joining Sarah at Paisley Rain Boots for this month's Scene and Story


  1. I walk almost daily through a cemetery, some of my husband's family are buried there, and some people I knew, including one guy my age, although he didn't make it to my age dying in a fiery car crash. Always gives me pause for thought as I walk through there. Great story Jill!

  2. Poignant words, Jill. A story of loss and hope.

  3. I've never been one to visit graves of loved ones. My people are all buried on the opposite side of the continent, so I couldn't even if I wanted to. But, strangely, I do enjoy visiting cemeteries, and I am always touched by the care I see taken of even very old graves. I think of those I've lost and feel comforted, even if they aren't there. Thank you for sharing this very personal scene and story.

  4. A very touching story. Sometimes, a brief exchange of looks is enough to give a little courage to another soul on his or her own personal life story.


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