Hell of a Guy

Just Another Football Fan?  I don’t think so.

06/21/2007

There is a cemetery here in Beautiful Downtown Berkeley Springs, WV (aka Town of Bath), population 711, that is on the same road as the place we board The Dog when The Nancy and I travel.  Something I saw in the cemetery about a month ago has stuck with me and I want to share it with all of you, being the sentimental slob that I am.  It doesn’t take a lot to place me in an emotional state these days and what I am about to share took all of about a second and half to impact me.

The Nancy and I had been out of town.  Stella (hence and forever will be referred to as “The Dog”) was enjoying some time in a two-foot by four-foot cell, or cage, or doggie jail for a couple of nights.  The Nancy and I were returning from Grafton, WV and our yearly pilgrimage to the locally famous Memorial Day Parade.  After we picked up The Dog, I made the decision to take a shortcut through the cemetery – it cuts off about a quarter mile or so, and with this huge time savings, and the chunk of wear and tear I would save on the company vehicle I drive, I decided the shortcut was efficacious, even though there are signs warning against through traffic use of the roadway.  Actually my savings may have been entirely in my head: the road through the cemetery is in a serpentine fashion and my shortcut is most likely a “longcut.”  About three quarters of the way through the cemetery we came across a poignant scene I could never have fathomed had I not seen it firsthand.  Just off the pathway was a grave adorned with a rather large Washington Redskin’s banner.  It was situated just to the left of the grave and was fluttering in a slight breeze.  Apparently the person buried there was an ardent football and Redskin fan and his/her (most likely a “his”) family celebrated this fact and placed a banner there to signify it.  The banner was a nice touch and one that I had never come across in a cemetery before, but it is not what really got me going.

There were about six people around the grave.  Some were standing; some were actually sitting in lawn chairs.  There was a charcoal grill throwing smoke into the clear sky, and a couple of the guys were drinking brewskis (Bud Light – not really beer).  These folks were having a tailgate party at the gravesite of a departed loved one.  How cool is that?

I don’t know about you, but this one struck me hard.  A family so loved this guy, they were celebrating some special occasion and included this person who was still held as a viable member of the family.  Even as I write this I heart is in my throat.  Wow!  This family – and I suppose it was this guy’s family – held this loved one so dearly, they gathered at the grave for a tailgate party.  I love it!   

The Nancy and I have written our wills to reflect our desire to be cremated.  I want my ashes to be scattered somewhere, the site totally unimportant, but I cannot help to think how great it would be if at some point my family and friends might return to that site and throw a party, even if for no other reason than just to have a party, perhaps celebrate me and have a good time.  I won’t need to be invited; I’ll already be there.

And that is all I have to say about that…

 
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