The other day a group of friends went on a road trip. Trixxi & Big Lexy, Techno-Pastor, his bubbly-prude wife & FlowerPot, Auntie Red and GeoJimmy all crammed into a stylin 4Runner and headed west and south – to the sticks, and to where another dear friend’s body is resting peacefully. The beast that is cancer took over our friend Megs’ body and took her from the world 4 months ago…. And about 50 years too soon!!!
This was the first time we’d all been together for the trek to Overland. GeoJimmy, the only who’s ever been to visit, drove and gave us a fascinating tour of his old stomping grounds. We traveled along some dodgy pavement, hilly/rollercoaster gravel roads, wide open prairie, and a back trail but finally reached our destination. Armed with a bouquet of purple plastic flower, potted in our last French Vanilla Cappuccino mix can, we all took a deep breath and headed to the center of Overland Cemetery. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing a perfect breeze through the long grass and wheat fields that border this hill top sanctuary. We were silent for a long time. Quiet tears streaming down all our cheeks. We miss her. Everyday. She was a strong, passionate woman who lived life and fought right to the end. Coffees and hanging out just aren’t the same without her laugh, opinions, and her “insider” gossip! Overland is the perfect spot for her body to rest. And I could feel her energy there with us that day.
There was a lot of energy in the air. I wondered around the fenced space, reading the headstones and name plates and giving silent respect/mourning all those who are buried in that land. I was struck by how many children were in there. Infants with no names, 6 months, 2 years, 8 years. I said a silent prayer of thankfulness that I have not known this type of heartbreak. Thought of my 3 beautiful kids and what it would be like to have one of them die. I’m fascinated by the early ‘pioneer’ days, and have often thought I could have lived in that era. But the all too common death of children is a painful, scary thought.
I have a type of fascination with cemeteries. Reading the headstones – I love the names, doing the math of how old they were, imagining what type of life they may have had. The variety in markers is interesting too. Telling of the era, the beliefs of the deceased and their family that was left to mourn. I have a bit of a fantasy of traveling the country/world photographing cemeteries and headstones… somber, creepy, peaceful…
GeoJimmy took us to another small country cemetery on our journey home. This one, home to the teeny body of an angel-baby. Sweet Gabriel was a heartbreaking loss. His death was caused by the same horrible cancer that stole his mom from us. I mourn the loss of this little friend we never knew, but take comfort that he is in heaven and Grandma Lene rocked him and soothed him for the year before his mommy could come to him. (and hope megs still lets Gramma Lene have a few snuggles!)
If I can find my way, I will be back to both resting places. To sit and feel the energy, listen to the wind, and shed tears of sadness but also of incredible gratitude for all that I have and all that I know/have known….