It was one of the sweetest gestures ever, and it came from the tiny hands of my son, 15 months old.
We were back on the east coast for the first time in many years. My mother had passed away seven years before.
She did not live to know her grandchildren.
On a beautiful summer day, I took the kids to visit my Dad and opted to drive by the cemetery.
It was spontaneous, not something I’d ever thought about doing.
I was sure they would be okay. Then aged 4 and 1, they were a bit young to understand what they were seeing, and mostly just curious.
It is a beautiful, peaceful place; set on a hillside that overlooks the valley where I grew up.
As we stood by the grave, I talked about my mother, told them how ill she had been, and how very proud she would have been of them.
I held back the tears, wanting this to be a positive experience.
My son walked over to the edge of the wooded area nearby, picked up 2 sticks, wrapped them together in the form of a cross, secured it with a few reeds of grass and quietly placed it in front of my mother’s headstone.
None of us said a word. We walked back to the car.
Now there were tears.