Nine Decades Gone

You can walk through the cemeteries, feel grass whisper against your ankles, and understand that everyone you knew for most or all of your life, are gone from this earth.

Their voices, their laughter once sounds that elated all, gave you special moments to anticipate, but will fade as memories do, or pass into yesterday when you close your eyes in the final blink.

I think life will become too quiet, somber moments of reflection will then fill the niches where new memories might have formed with new tomorrows if you were not alone.

Wondering where time went, why life is fleeting even though you survived wars, depression, and poverty, and now you look at the calendar and see ninety years passed since your birth. Astonishing, grievous, time swallowed your life completely, perhaps even unexpectedly.

A fallen shadow may waver across the mown lawn under your hesitant step. There may be moonlight to illuminate the way, crawling up the side of headstones, buildings, blocking grief with the knowledge that once years past, that same light lit her face on the first night you sat together.

You held hands, leaning close, a gentle kiss marked the promise, planning in your hearts for the future, which would be yours, knowing that all of life lay spread out before you, a feast of time and experiences yet to be enjoyed.

Your life filled with thousands of events, failures and joys, hellos and goodbyes. Living was like tripping up a flight of stairs, sliding down an ice-coated hill on the toboggan of preparation.

Early in life each day seemed endless, the clock glacial. Three decades passed and time began a peculiar rush forward, one that seemed never to delay but to speed up.

Children became adults, had children, who then became adults, and then time quietly, clicked doors shut behind which friends and family once resided. Until now, you stand alone in a cemetery, walking through ankle high grass hoping the new moon overhead meant that life had meaning, fulfillment, but never knowing with certainty as you lower yourself to your knees and pray alongside her resting place.

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