I wasn't supposed to be able to work the camp this year. Or if I did manage it, it should've required much more effort-- someone to go with me, a bigger room, more stuff to haul. Mostly, I did a good job not thinking about it, but there were moments, few and relatively far between when that was not an option. Funny thing, though-- I wasn't imagining the complicated logistics, I was just hit with waves of grief and longing. I was missing my son, a lot. It didn't much help that last year the camp was the first leg of a trip upon my return from which A was conceived. Yeah.
By the time today rolled around, I was antsy and unsettled. I needed to go to the cemetery. I hadn't been since before The Old City. The day, however, was not interested in cooperating. Two work things to complete, a meeting, shopping. The latter because we are supposed to go on a camping trip tomorrow morning, and together with Monkey's very busy day on Sunday it pretty much means I will have no weekends for four weeks straight.
All this combined meant that by the time I was headed for the cemetery, I had little hope of the gates still being open-- it's Friday night, and that means all things Jewish close early. Saturday before we left for The Old City I was in the neighborhood, and wanted to see if the place was open. It wasn't, and I drove on my way. You will understand, then, how at the end of my rope I was today when I tell you that I resolved to walk in and hike all the way to our section if the gates were closed. Surprisingly, the main gate was still open, and I was grateful. That's about where the good part ended.
When I pulled up to the baby section, it looked like there might be another marker by the two that appeared in early May, and as I got out of the car, it was to that part I headed, muttering things like "please, no, oh no." But as usual, it was too late. Not one, but two fresh graves have joined our little world. Two boys. Two different families. Three days apart at the end of May, while we were away. I wasn't keeping track of dates, remember? So I can't even tell you what I was doing as these families' worlds were falling apart. Why do I feel such sorrow not only at the idea of where these families are right now, but also at the thought that I missed it? I don't know them. There is nothing I could do for them. But I wish there was something.
The cemetery is a memorial park, meaning that plates, but not monuments are allowed, and if you are just strolling along the alleys, the place looks very much like botanical gardens. I like it-- it's peaceful and beautiful, and there is no competition for the biggest stone. The spring took its sweet time this year, and for the longest time you could easily spot A's grave by the lack of vegetation. In early May, after the two no longer newest graves appeared, it looked like the grounds keepers had tilled the soil and added the seeds and the fertilizer pellets. I thought it would be nice to see the grass next time. And it's there. There are a few bold spots still, but I am sure they will fill in in a while. But there are also sun-burnt remnants of something else growing on the plot. I can't decide whether it's a weed or whether they meant to seed the place with flowers. The latter would be unusual, because they generally don't let you plant anything there. One lonely stem still had its flowers, and they were tiny, delicate and white. Whether it's a weed or not (having a green thumb would probably come in handy in identifying which it is), when the whole plot bloomed, it must have been pretty. And I missed that too.
I cried today. I cried hard. I cried out loud. The cemetery was empty, so I am sure the sound of that tidal wave coming down on me did not mess with anyone else's day. I heard a sound sort of like that on one of my previous visits. It was a male voice, full of tears and despair asking "why? why? why?" many times over. The voice clashed strangely with the view. The view, the whole design, suggest piece and acceptance. The voice suggested anything but. For my part, I did not ask. I, however, would like to know what is it about this year. There is only one baby grave from all of 2006 there, and five so far this year.
But most of all, I miss my son. I can't tell you what is it about him that I miss, I just do.