The gravedigger looked up from where he stood six feet below the ground; Rueben,” he said in response to my son’s query as he scrambled out of my father’s final home. He told us he’d been with the Union for sixteen years and made seventeen dollars and thirty five cents an hour.
Paul, my youngest son who traveled with me at a moment’s notice to my hometown Chicago, gathered information about every living creature out of curiousity and intense interest.
So now we knew a lot about Rueben, a Native American, whose long black braid lifted and fell according to the whim of the strong wind that blew across the cemetery on Chicago’s West Side.
I looked into the excavation and pointed to an exposed side of the stone or concrete; their eyes shifted to where I indicated.
Rueben said, “That’s the burial site next door and he jumped into the hole, ran experienced hands over the side, smiled and climbed out. “Good tight fit, no water in there and he bent over and touched the headstone in front of me. “It’s hers.”
The polished marble had my mother’s name engraved on it; I hadn’t knelt down, carressed the letters of her name and years of her life span and lifted the cover protecting her picture from strangers eyes and the harsh element of weather.
I sucked in a deep breath and touched her radiant smile captured forever the day I was married fifty years ago.
For more snippets:
Here’s to our friend Rachel Devineuk. Everyone , please keep her in your loving thoughts as she goes through surgery.