After working on end of the year grades for several hours, my wife was ready to take a break. As a result, we decided to drive “out to the country” to visit the Serendipity Farm-home to Hippie Tom of American Pickers fame.
We didn’t want to overstay our welcome so we left as quickly as we had come. And then we saw him…Hippie Tom in all his hippiness on the side of the road. I yelled out, “Are you THE Hippie Tom?” and he acknowledges he was. I told him we went back over thirty years and I had been looking for him for the past fifteen years. You see my son David II broke one of my parent’s prized jars that (Hippie) Tom had made years ago and we always wanted to replace it with another (Hippie) Tom original.
“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” –Crowfoot
As we drove through the Village of Waterford we stopped at a little country cemetery where both my
cousin and a friend from my scouting days were buried.
Forgetting where my cousin had been buried over 25 years ago, we walked through the cemetery, looking for her headstone. I was drawn to the older headstones, many dating to the mid 1800’s. Who were these people buried there? What were there stories? Were they people of means? Were they early settlers to the area? So many questions, so few answers.
Most of the tombstones were faded and worn. Some were toppled over or broke in half. As I walked among these graves, it struck me that we are here for just a moment and then, as hastily as we entered this physical world, we exit it.
As a memorial, our names are engraved upon stone or metal and placed over our remains. Family and friends mourn for a season but in the end, all they are left with are memories, both good and bad.
As I gazed upon these faded markers, names barely legible, I realized that like these headstones that are worn and faded, so become memories of those buried below. And I left wondering if I will be remembered and if so, for how long? Or like these tombstones, will the memories of my life simply fade into eternity…