Thursday, September 27, 2012

Retrospect


    Have you ever realized that it is usually in retrospect that something that sounds like a grand plan at the time is actually fraught with stupidity?  There are some things in my past that are just too damn depressing to keep writing about.  Personally I really would rather not go there.  I would rather write about some of my past exploits and adventures that at the time I should have never undertaken, but didn’t realize until after the fact that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea.



       For example, there is that whacked over idea that once my parents died there place was at the cemetery even though between you, me, and the bed post I KNOW only their remains are there.  Their souls took off to heaven or wherever they go when they drew the last breath.  Technically I can’t follow them to heaven for a visit, so I do the next best thing and march my happy butt out to the cemetery.   My folks loved the twinkle of Christmas lights.  They both used to deck the halls to the hilt so when my mom died it seem appropriate to take a Christmas tree to the cemetery and light it up with Christmas tree lights on Christmas Eve night.  My dad attached huge batteries and had it down to a science so that Mom’s little tree would remain lit most of the night despite the cold which can be a real battery sucker.  After she died, my family would visit the cemetery, light her lights, then head to my Dad’s house for a huge Christmas feast followed by the opening of mountains of presents.  On the way home after the festivities, my husband and I would stop by the cemetery to retrieve the tree.

         After my Dad joined my mom at the cemetery, my husband and I were determined to carry on the tradition.  The only problem was that we were no longer out and about on Christmas Eve.  We would bundle up and take the tree out to the grave site about 5 PM and then go home.  The year my Dad died, I waited till almost bed time Christmas Eve night and decided I would go pick the tree up.  My daughter decided to go with me, and my husband elected to stay home.  To me, up until that point, going to the cemetery was the same as going to my folk’s house to see them.  Maybe a little colder and a little darker, but you get the idea.  It was no big deal.  I pulled into the pitch dark cemetery and drove back to where my parents graves were, parked, and my daughter and I got out and leisurely strolled out to their tombstone in the moonlight as if we didn’t have a care in the world.


  
       I stopped before their stone and with tears in my eyes I wished them both a Merry Christmas again.  As I picked up the tree, I distinctly heard voices say Merry Christmas.  I glanced at my daughter, and she glanced at me.  “Did you hear that?” I asked nervously.  
         Her eyes were as big as saucers as she answered “Yes”.  There was no one else around.  “Mommy?” she said obviously terrified.



          I freaked out, and by the look of my daughter she was on the train to freak town right along with me. A chill ran up my spine.  Holding the tree in one hand, I grabbed her hand with the other and raced hell bent for election through the snow and obstacle course of tombstones to the car.   As we ran we heard other voices whispering “Merry Christmas!”  I can honestly say that the experience scared the living be Je$us out me.  I almost $hit myself.  We got in the car, locked the doors, and sped out of the cemetery as if the hounds of hell were licking at our tires.

         In retrospect, I realized the tree could stay where it was till morning.  For every Christmas since, the tree has remained at the cemetery until Christmas day and when the roads were especially bad and the snow deep, it remained till after New Years.    In retrospect, you locate a few brains, gain a smidgeon of common sense that you previously didn’t possess, and learn not to provoke the bloody ghost of Christmas past until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.


26 comments:

  1. I do know other people who go to the cemetery on Christmas and put out decorations. Do ya think maybe one of them had one of those motion decorations that says Merry Christmas when you walk by?

    Whatever...you big sissies! he he he

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    1. Jo, where I live no one puts expensive motion decorations in the cemetery because some low life will surely steal it. It would be a waste of time and money. You commonly see silk flowers, wreaths, or balloons. Thank you for stopping by to read.

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  2. Wow. See I totally wouldn't have ran, I would've stood there and tried to have more conversation, altho Jo has a point, it may have been motion decorations and I may have been standing there like a lunatic talking to other Christmas trees. Thanks Jo.. (rolls eyes) But in agreement with Jo,you guys are big sissies. ;)

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    1. Mimi, you had to be there. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your comments.

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  3. I think it is a very sweet tradition. I can't do that for my hubby as they don't allow anything but natural trees/wreaths but no lights etc. I give you credit, as I wouldn't go at night! Ours closes at 4:30 in the winter. i like to think it was your parents wishing you guys Merry Christmas (or maybe someone around there wishing their folks a merry christmas, but I like the first better!!)

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    1. Winnie, I don't go at night anymore. While it is a nice thought that the dead were wishing us a Merry Christmas, it was a little unnerving. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your comments!

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  4. Gosh, diid you really hear that? Mayber there were chorus people singing somewhere? Freaky. But I LOVE this traadiition. My father is buried in a brooklyn cemeteery so big, that no one can ever find the site even with a map. I've never been back. I think it's important to have that place to go. To grieve for a period, and then return to your own life.

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    1. Sandra, yes and my daughter heard it too or I would have thought I was completely nuts. I agree that it is important to have a place to go. When they first died I went there all the time. As the years have passed, I find myself going there less and less. I will probably always go for Christmas because for me, I can't imagine not including them in Christmas. It is also my way of giving my kids the grandparents they never had or got a chance to know. It is their history as well as mine. It is a way to keep their memory alive. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments.

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  5. OMG I am covered in goosebumps right now!!!!! The hair is standing up on the back of my neck too. I am not a cemetery-goer at all. My mom is always getting on my case about not going there to visit my dad on father's day or his birthday. I don't feel closer to him there at all. Instead I like to walk along the Canal, which was one of his fave places. I made a memory book of pics of him, and he &I together, and that's more comforting than the cemetery.

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    1. JoJo, there are times when I go there where I feel depressed and cry because I miss them, then others when I go and feel nothing at all. My visits have become less and less. I think it is wonderful that you walk along the canal and remember. At first I clung on to every picture and thing that I could remember them with. Now, I take them out and look at them, and occasionally I remember things and they make me sad. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your comments.

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    1. Word Nerd, unlike Mimi, I didn't have one urge to stick around and discover the source of those voices. The fact that we were in the cemetery after dark hearing voices no matter where or who they came from was enough for me. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments.

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  7. There are a lot worse things they could be whispering besides "Merry Christmas." I'd take it as a good thing. Interesting take on the challenge, like usual.


    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. Joyce, you have an excellent point! LOL It was so unexpected, course if I had heard voices whispering "I am going to kill you!!", it would have really scared me!! Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments~! ♥

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  8. My goodness - what an experience, Kathy. It's scary and hilarious too! Do you think someone was hiding in some bushes to scare the daylights (or the Christmas lights) out of people?

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    1. Corinne, I suppose that would be possible if there were bushes. Still, who in their right mind would be hanging out in the cemetery on Christmas eve night getting their jollies out of scaring the living crap out of people? Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments!!♥

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  9. i'm with magical mimi.. i would have stood there and listened.. see what happened... i think that's pretty cool... maybe i will take a drive and visit my dad and two brothers on christmas eve this year... seems intriguing... :)

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    1. Danneromero, I think it would have been a lot cooler if I had actually went there looking for paranormal activity because then I would have been prepared for it. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments! ♥

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  10. You were braver than I would have been. I wouldn't have gone at night in the first place. Good story.

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    1. KAT, I am pleased you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments! ♥

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  11. WOAH...and your response....LOLOL so totally why i LOVE reading your blog too..so dang HONEST!! It's sad in a way.....if they are "trapped" in the realm..kills the whole idea i have of heaven on earth! And as far as my parents go..(or me for instance) ashes to ashes and dust to dust..not in a coffin cuz they are too expensive.

    You are the sweetest soul

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    1. Brenda, it kind of kills my idea of heaven too, but until a person dies you never really goes on afterwards. We all have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments. ♥

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  12. Kathy - scared or not, what a lovely tradition and honor to your mom on your dad's part and to them both in your following the tradition afterwards. My parents are gone almost fours years now. And I regularly visit their graves and take care of their upkeep. Of course, I talk to them via my thoughts a lot of the time not at graveside, but it's just a matter of respect to take care of their the place on this earth that marks their lives.

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    1. Amy, I have always felt obligated to visit often and for the upkeep of their graves. It is all I can really do for them now. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your kind comments! ♥

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  13. Oh my! What a great story you have now to tell. Graveyards have never really been spooky for me and i do go often where my grandpa is buried. He and i were very close and he gives me comfort. I even want to take my boyfriend by to introduce him. Is that weird? I dont hear voices but i feel his spirit all the time. The fact your daughter heard the voices too is incredible. I cant imagine all the emotions you felt. I think the tradition is wonderful.

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    1. Holli, No. I don't think it is weird at all. I took my husband out to meet my mom when I met him. He knew my dad. I take my kids out there so they can relate to them with the pictures and the stories of my memories I have to tell. It makes them seem more real. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your comments! ♥

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