Due to a last minute cancellation, I replaced a co-driver to Virginia with my son. If it hadn’t been for a few great conversations that we had over the last couple of months, I would never have thought of asking my son to accompany me to visit my husband’s grave. Granted my husband’s grave is also my son’s father’s grave; but, he hadn’t shown much interest in visiting the site for several years. Desperate not to have to drive several hours a day for the next several days alone, I decided to chance spending several days in close quarters with a grown man who wears tee-shirts with writing and ugly pictures on them. Actually, the whole trip turned out to be a pleasant experience.
We didn’t play any of the books on CD’s that I brought along as our conversation leapt from one topic to another – movie stars and religion, current events and religion, atheism and religion, psychology and philosophy and music. Nearly every day before arriving at our destination, we visited little museums, ate in quaint restaurants and admired architecture. In Lexington, we visited the George Marshall Museum and Library.
The visit to the Marshall Museum was nostalgic for me as my husband and I had visited the Museum several years before. My husband respected and revered the memory of the man who did so much to restore Europe after the devastation of WWII. He inspired me to do the same. The last time, I reviewed the artifacts and photographs, I concentrated on the affects of his labors. This time, I marveled at Marshall’s ability to get a divided congress to agree to a plan that did not demand reparation. What a great soldier/statesman; what a great leader!
My son and I did visit the grave site of the man we both loved. The visit seemed anti-climatic. I took a picture of my son sitting next to the stone. Neither of us cried. Without voicing it, we both realized that a grave stone is just a stone. The remains that lie beneath are not the soul of the man. He is with each of us every day.