But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14
Last Monday, May 18, I visited the cemetery for the first time since my Mother’s funeral. I was on vacation, on my way to Illinois, but I wanted to spend some time visiting with Mom. It was a warm, sunny morning, quite a contrast from the rainy day when we buried her. My wife, Linda, and I spent some time admiring the breathtaking scenery. Mom is buried in a section called the Garden of Serenity, which is a very appropriate name for this section. It is toward to rear of the cemetery, away from the highway traffic. The grass is a lush green, and there are plenty of trees in the background. The area must have been a farm at one time, nonetheless, it is very tranquil and lends itself to having a conversation with a dear, departed loved one.

I happened to have in my glove compartment, several ceramic “coquís” which I had bought as souvenirs when we vacationed in Puerto Rico back in 2007. The coquí is a frog that is unique to Puerto Rico and not found anywhere else. I took two of them and placed them in the area where the headstone will eventually be, next to a plant my sisters had planted on Mother’s Day.

It was a pleasant visit. I felt at ease in the presence of the freshly covered grave. The rich, brown dirt made it easy to distinguish, almost making me hope the grass never grows over, so as to keep its distinctiveness. Mom always liked to stand out, to be the center of attention. At this point in this area, she is. It is still so hard to imagine her not being around.

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