A short, non-fictional bit of fiction.
He walked slowly through the long, dry, yellowing grass. The parellels of the unkempt cemetery played in his thoughts, as the living green lawn had been choked out by the weeds, just as the life had been choked out of those beneath him. He looked down at the markers he passed, eyes flicking from one gravestone to the next with a speed and excitement that belied his somber expedition. He knew he was near the place, though he had only been here once before. He remembered the old, twisted tree, somehow different than the rest, if only in his mind. He knew she was near here, but couldnít remember how close. So he walked a meandering path back and forth, feeling guilty about disturbing the long-slept peace of those on whom he trod. Names, dates and titles engraved in stone slipped into and out of his consciousness with little thought. One stone grabbed his attention and held it for a moment. Chipped out of the granite in all capitals, one word stood alone: MOTHER. It seemed to cry out a lifetime of need and dependence, and he wondered briefly about those she had left behind. Saddened by the emptiness and loneliness that MOTHERís children must have suffered at her loss, he continued on, his own quest driving him along.
It surprised him when he saw it, the name somehow seeming distant and unreal, laid out in the cold grey stone. ďNorma LaVonne Retelsdorf Ė Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother.Ē It was only two markers down from the tree he had remembered, not quite covered with the weeds that had overrun so many of the others. He wondered briefly who had been by to trim the weeds away from her gravesite, and how long ago it had been. He nearly knelt down, but found he didnít have it in him. He didnít have anything in him, and began to realize that whatever he had come here searching for, it still wasnít there. It hadnít been there 18 years earlier when she had died, nor 15 years ago, the one time he had visited here before. His heart hurt, but not for the reasons it should have. It hurt because he didnít mourn, he didnít feel the loss. He wanted to, he knew he should, but he couldnít. He stood there staring at the name for a few minutes, until he realized with a heart-wrenching shock that seeing some unknown MOTHER's grave had had more of an impact on him than that of his own grandmother. It seemed she wasn't the only one in the family who was dead.
As he slowly stepped away from the grave, and the cemetery, and the past, he only felt more empty than he had when he arrived.