Today we visited my mother-in-law’s grave, still so new the headstone has not yet been placed.
It was outside of Albany, New York. We were passing through, driving home from a relaxing vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. Mechanicville is the name of the town where she was laid to rest. It’s also where she grew up in the 30s and 40s.
What I saw of the outskirts of this town was nicer than what I expected: something resembling the depressed village of her youth.
The cemetery was tiny and tucked away, up a shaded hill. We found her grave easily, and those of her kin.
We had no flowers. The stop was impromptu. But then I remembered I had something better than flowers. Something she would have appreciated and loved.
In our car were some chocolate chips. Half a bag – six ounces to be exact – of semi-sweetness.
We each took a handful and scattered them across the crabgrass growing on the mound of earth that covered her coffin.
I imagined she burst out laughing at our offering. That was her way – to find the humor in almost every situation.
I whispered a prayer as I stood there, watching the chocolate chips melting in the sun:
Blessing on your life, Faith.
Blessings on your death.
Blessings on your journey, rest in peace.