Deborah answered her phone and recognized the nurse from the care facility. Your father has died. No surprise…it had been a long time coming, with a devastating illness that took his mind away..
Deborah flew in from San Francisco, arriving in time for graveside service where ashes-to-ashes, appointed time of three score and ten, verses were recited. Then taps were played, flag was folded by Veteran of the Foreign War members, and presented to a relative Deborah did not know.
Deborah sat in a rented car and waited until everyone had done their jobs and disappeared before she could return to the grave site.
Deborah knelt at her mother’s grave and wept. How she had loved her mother…how her mother had loved her. she pulled away some large bouquets from her father’s grave, overflowing with blooms. Tenderly, she placed the flowers at Mom’s grave.
Then Deborah stood at the new grave, covered with accolades and flowers. She whispered, “I loved you so! I did everything I was supposed to do. I honored and obeyed you, I respected and tried to please you. Even when you were old and I was middle years, you still tried to control me, hurt me with your words.
Another pause. “You broke my heart.”
Deborah returned to the rental car, thinking where she should go next.