Yesterday, I took the flowers Mom had put together for Christmas and placed them on Dad’s grave and the graves of my grandparents. It appeared that only two other graves in the little country cemetery had been decorated. When I was younger, the graves would have been awash with greenery and other decorations. Most of the folks who once decorated those graves are now dead themselves. The younger generation never knew a lot of the folks who are buried there. Unfortunately, most of them wouldn’t care if they did. I realize that the departed never know when their graves are decorated and when they’re not. It speaks volumes about those left behind, though.
I noticed that my own stone, which I set a couple years ago, had settled a bit and was entirely covered with leaves. It’s tempting to go back and put an inch or so of sand under it, but I guess it doesn’t matter. I leave no-one behind who will ever see it anyway, unless it’s at a grave-side service. I’m not pitying myself, just being realistic. The only ones that would care if I croaked would my wife, my mother, the Mighty Dachshund, and a few online friends who will never know if I croak anyway. I may well outlive the first three, so I guess I’d better be sure and make necessary arrangements before I go. I cringe to think that whichever one dies last may be one of those old folks they find in their homes who’ve been dead for a year.
The missus and I went over the river and through the woods to a Chinamart in enemy territory today. That’s about as much excitement as we can afford these anymore. When I’m in any store, I notice how many people plow out of the side aisles at 90MPH without ever looking. They wouldn’t (or at least SHOULDN’T) do that when they’re in a car, but they think nothing of doing it when their carelessness could bowl over a child or an old person. Naturally, they either have some far-away look in their eyes, or they’re looking down at their phone. I saw one fellow that I know vaguely, walking along, looking for an open register, his skin was flushed and it seemed that fear was on his face. He never saw me.
This Christmas is shaping up to be another lousy holiday. We’ve grown estranged from a few family members over the years, and those who remain seem less desirous of our company now that we’re poor. I doubt if we can afford it, but it would be nice if the missus and I could go out of town for Christmas next year; there’s nothing going on around here anyway. The older I get, the less I enjoy holidays. They remind me of what used to be, but will never be again.