I love the statuary, the history…the quiet. I love spending the day winding through them to read the stories of the people buried there. I love the introspection and the reminder that life is short.
When I was little my parents would stop at every forgotten cemetery they saw to let my sister and I tromp through them. By the time I was 12 my walls were lined with butcher-paper tracings of old tombstones and epitaphs.
My husband thinks I’m excruciatingly weird and would sooner have his testicles removed than spend a whole day exploring old gravestones and repiecing the lives of the people beneath them.
That’s why I take Hailey now.
It’s a little unsettling to see her giggling and hiding behind the tombstones or feeding the stone dogs guarding the graves but to her it’s a giant walking park, filled with angels and trees and benches. She doesn’t know it’s a cemetery at all.
“You see the peoples, mommy?”
“No, baby. That’s just an empty house.”
She looks again and wrinkles her forehead as if I’m messing with her.
It kind of freaks me out…but not enough to stop taking her.
After all, without her, who else will talk to the angels?