I visited our Thomas' grave for the first time today. I took flowers and a tiny blue stained glass cross with the words "Watch Over My Son" on it. It was so hard -- I can't even describe what it's like to stand at your child's grave -- but it was just something I had to do today. It was time.
Foolishly I thought I wouldn't cry (I'm not a big fan of crying in public. I save it for when I'm alone or for when my beloved's shoulder is around) but as soon as I reached the stone the tears started to fall. I knelt down and put my hands on the warm, damp grass above where he's laying and just cried. I wanted to lay right down and get as close to him as I could, but good sense prevailed. That's a crazy-lady thing to do and I'm not a crazy-lady just yet. I may be one day -- maybe one day soon -- but I'm not yet.
I didn't stay long. I told him I loved him, put the cross and flowers on his grave and left. The funny thing is, it feels like part of me is still there -- like I've left an arm or a leg there. It's hard to explain. But I'm still glad I went. Now I don't have to do it for the first time anymore.
On the way home I stopped at Baskin & Robbins and bought an ice cream cake. My Grandma LOVED ice cream cakes and I haven't had one since she died almost 15 years ago. The last time we had one was on her birthday just a few weeks before she died. Thomas is buried with her and my Grandpa and I think she put the idea in my head -- the idea of the ice cream cake. It's something she'd think of and it's something she'd think would make me feel better. To my Grandma, ice cream cake and Vicks Vapo Rub could cure just about anything.
I decided to do some puttering in the garden after indulging in a huge slice of cake (which didn't cure my broken heart, but helped it some) and that's when this very strange day got even stranger. I was just about finished when the guy across the street came outside in a Darth Vader mask and a thong. Seriously. It's very odd to see your neighbour's bum -- and it's even odder to see it on the same day you visited your baby's grave for the first time. He did it to make all the ladies laugh (there was a gaggle of women - including his wife - out talking on their front lawn) and he succeeded. He made me smile too.
Strange days indeed. But thank God I can still smile.