My mother thinks it’s creepy, how I love to walk through the cemetery. Just a short walk from my house, as soon as I enter the gate, I am stricken with the sheer magnitude of it. Rows and rows of beautiful headstones, graced with menorahs or the star of David, stand dwarfed under towering trees. The winding path beckons us to walk and wonder at the lives lived here before us.
I bring my littles here so they can ride their bikes safely. As they race in front of me, I can see the tips of their helmets over the tops of the headstones, the neon green spikes of a dinosaur mohawk ensures me that the littlest is within earshot. These two are so full of life as they race and laugh, playing police officers or clone troopers, unaffected by the sorrow that surrounds them. Full of life, full of potential, living in the very moment they are given. My mind wanders between the never completed to do list awaiting me at home, the worries over situations that family or friends may be facing, and even regrets from yesterday. How quickly I can become overwhelmed or question if I’m doing it right. But as I walk further in, I am reminded of how fragile life is, how we are only given this one life to make a difference. I want my memories to be a gift, not a burden filled with regrets. I have to let the list and the worries go for now, to enjoy the moment, to learn from the headstones, to watch my boys live without hesitation. I laugh as the littlest rides to me, pushing up his helmet higher so I can see straight into those big hazel eyes, and tells me I’m under arrest for walking too slowly. I treasure the moment when his older brother comes along to walk in step with me, for just a few minutes, to talk about the beloved fathers, mothers, and children laid to rest among us. We are sad together for the families whose loved ones are gone, remembered in the engravings in the stone. We talk about how our lives matter. We talk about making a difference, showing God’s love to the world around us. And then he tells me he loves me, and races up to join his brother in capturing the bad guys.
I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder quite often. It brings me perspective and thankfulness for the chances I still have before me, to let the past go and live in the moments we have now. You should try it, a walk among the tombstones. Just go during the day….way less creepy.