Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Surprise on Valentines Day

Valentine's Day I went out to Arlington National Cemetery carrying roses for Jim and found a surprise waiting.

In the six days since I was there last they had set the new tombstone with Jim's name engraved on the stone. I knew it was coming. In fact I had called to check on it. They told me it would be about five months after the burial August 1 - and it was.

I was grateful the workmen who set the stone were so respectful of the stones I have brought from our travel collection and left there since August. They replaced them carefully - arranged almost exactly as I had.  Another evidence of the honor and care they give to the deceased and to the families.

But I was not prepared for my feelings.

Sad and glad.

Jim died March 6, 2012 - so we are only 17 days away from his one-year anniversary. If March 6th had come and gone without the stone in place I know I would have been disappointed and sad. However - not having any warning - left me breathless.

The presence of the stone feels like a period - an ending. Another chapter of Jim's book closes.

But, I don't think of it as the final chapter in the book I share with Jim. It is just different.

I am comforted by that.

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