at my mother's grave: this memory keeps

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From time to time I visit my mother's grave—drive to Valley Forge Park, park in the shade by the Washington cathedral, and go down the hill and around to the left, and up another hill.  Deer are often standing in the woods just past her stone.  Little Alex of Alex's Lemonade Stand rests just two stones to the right. The church chimes sing a song.  (I always wait long enough for the song.)

During one of my very first trips to my mother's grave, I carried this ornamental instrument, not quite an oboe, but close enough.  We had all sung to my mother in her final days, Christmas songs and hymns, and this delicate piece felt symbolic, lodged, emblematic of my brother's loved wind songs. The earth at Valley Forge has been snowed over, flooded, hailed, gusted, and baked in the years since.  My father has planted new fringes of flowers.  Deer have stuck their noses close, but somehow the reedy instrument is undaunted.  I found it again, just last week, when I went to say hello.

This memory keeps.


Serena said...

I thought that was an oboe...glad to see its weathering the years nicely.

KFP said...

RIP, Beth's beautiful mom. I love how we who read your blog have gotten to know and appreciate her, and in this way, in addition to in the hearts of your family and you, she lives on.

I like thinking of her listening to windsong.

Say hello to your Dad for me.


patti.mallett_pp said...

So often you have me covering my mouth with my hand, as if that will stop my tears. It is because you pour life into all of your words. It is your gift.

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