The brisk North wind buffeted the elderly man as he trudged through the snow. "February in Michigan can be brutal," the man muttered aloud. He carefully stepped between white lumps as he gingerly gripped two bouquets of dried and silk flowers. Large familiar gravestones guided him through the pristine cold desert.
He stopped at a large Civil War marker. "Grandpa, you didn't want flowers at your funeral, so I won't waste these on you, but Grandma always had a beautiful garden. Grandma, the flowers are for you. My great-grandchildren helped me pick out the flowers and make this bouquet," the old man said as he placed the bound garland in a snow filled vase.
"Thanks to you both for the Christian heritage you gave me. I am doing my best to pass along my faith to the children…amid all their electronic and time consuming distractions. It's hard to see them regularly because of their busy schedules, but I pray for them everyday…just like you prayed for me until the day you went to be with Jesus and Grandpa," he said aloud.
"Hello, Ben!" a female voice called. Ben looked up. He smiled. "Hi, Margaret! Meet me at Kay's grave," Ben replied as he waved. He reverently touched the weathered white tombstone, paused for a few more seconds, and then walked determinedly in the knee-deep snow.
Margaret smiled as Ben approached. "Did you meet anyone else today?" Ben asked. "Yes. Mrs. Welling and Mr. Parker. We will meet them for coffee. I knew you'd be here, so I waited," Margaret replied. He nodded.
"That storm was something else," Ben mentioned. "It reminded me of the night my Ben went to be with the Lord," Margaret replied. "Twelve years ago…if I recall," Ben said. "You have a good memory," she replied with a slight nod. The wind kicked up swirls of snow that danced around the two elderly people.
"Kay is gone ten years, yesterday," Ben said as he placed the bouquet in the brass holder attached to the red-mottled gravestone. They stood silently for a few minutes.
Ben nodded, and then he beckoned for Margaret to retrace her steps. They walked silently to the plowed road. Ben gently kicked his boots to knock off clinging snow.
"I'll walk you to your car," Ben offered graciously. Margaret smiled.
"How many people have you met at the cemetery over the years?" Ben asked. "I've never kept track, but a lot," Margaret replied after a brief pause. She half-slid her boots on the hard pack. "How many have you talked to about Jesus?" Ben asked with a slight smile. "Almost all of them," Margaret admitted cheerfully.
They stopped at the entrance to the snow engulfed terrace garden. "Kay liked tending the garden and talking with visitors. Like you, she always talked about the remains returning to dust from which God created Adam. Those that have faith in Jesus are with Him she always said," Ben said softly. Margaret nodded. The wind whistled.
"Like this garden, we are in the Winter of life. However, hope springs eternal with the perennials, bulbs, and seeds we plant. Let's pray that our seed faith passes to those we leave behind," Margaret commented with a smile. "Amen," Ben said.
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