Today marks the fourteenth month without Brett. It was a typical day, typical for the new normal, you could even say a good day, it’s earth day. The sun came out today. It had been a few days since the sun was out so although it was windy and unseasonably cold, I was glad to be wearing sunglasses. I dropped Elle off at school this morning and Jay took the bus. The morning was ordinary, I had lunch with a colleague, made and ate dinner with the kids. I thought of Brett today and how I needed to get to the cemetery but things just kept coming up and the minutes kept slipping by.
I had an old TV to get rid of and today was the day that I had help taking it to the recycling center, so the cemetery would wait. On our way there I simply asked, “After this do you mind if we stop at the cemetery? I’ve been out everyday, I’m waiting for our headstone and Brett’s marker to be put in.” Our headstone, what a weird statement.
The response was “Of course, I heaven’t been out to the cemetery in a while.”
Funny, I’ve been out there almost daily since I was told the bench (headstone) and marker would be going in. But everyday I’ve grown more and more dissapointed.
It was a little past 8PM when we pulled in and right away from the entrance I could tell the stakes that were placed to mark the location, the ones that had been there for over a week were gone. I got so excited I accelerated just a little bit so I could get there just a little faster. I didn’t even turn the car off, I just put it in park, opened the door and got out. There it was. The headstone I had to special order, since green is not a common color used in cemeteries. But I didn’t care green was his favorite color and I didn’t want it to look just like everyone else’s.
When I ordered it, it was fall, it was my father in-law’s wedding anniversary. The owner told me it would not get here until spring and now September seems like a lifetime ago. I remember the long exhausting, pretty drive home. The colors were changing, I left work early and told the kids I had an appointment, I couldn’t bear to tell them. It was a warm September day and my windows where rolled down. On my way home I left a message on my in-law’s answering machine wishing them a happy anniversary and I remember my voice cracking as I thought that I would never have another and how lucky they were to have one to celebrate.
So here I stand, in front of this green granite bench, the sun setting, the brisk spring air blowing. The bench is centered over two graves. His and mine. It is our headstone and it is both sobering and mortifying to think that one day I will be buried there, that I will have a place in the ground, and I hate it but I’ve grown to accept it and find a weird comfort in it, but I don’t love it.
It’s a quote from the story of Peter Pan. I chose it because when we were dating he would buy me Disney movies as soon as they were released on video (VHS) and I just felt it fit. Some boys give girls flowers and candy, Brett gave me fairy tales…