A stone laying dedication ceremony for deceased children is an event at which my naive self never imagined I would attend. Yet, unknown twists and turns we all navigate through our lives became manifest, and following life’s winding path, it had led to this exact place on an early autumn Sunday.
The typically clear, crisp autumnal air was ominously heavy and encroaching storm clouds blatantly curtained the beautiful blue sky. Along with the multiple people gathered in congruous remembrance of the many children gone too soon, nature also grieved.
After a heart wrenching presentation of songs, poems and a recital of the new names added to the memorial garden, I approached to see the addition of my son’s name on the walkway. Staring at the letters engraved and darkened into the cold stone at my feet, I came to a revelation. These stones are here for other people to memorialize my son and the rest of the children. Although a thoughtful gesture, I do not need his name carved into stone to remember him. Not just his name, but far more importantly, also his essence, is forever etched upon my heart. There, he will be with me always, providing strength as I continue to charter the ebb and flow of life.