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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Cemetery Treasure
By Doreen Hammond


Cemetery Treasure

It was a beautiful sunny summer day. I had just turned ten years old. Even though I was quite mature for my age, there was much I was unsure of. Mom took me for a ride out to the cemetery where my father had just been laid to rest. The grass had not completely grown on his grave yet. His murder, still unsolved left many questions unanswered and many voids left unfilled.

“How’s this spot?” Mom asked as she sat her supplies on the grass.

“It’s okay.” I replied still numb and void of emotion. This was my first trip to the cemetery since the funeral.

“You know, this is just as good, and it’s a lot cheaper than the alternative.”

“I know, but I just don’t understand how it got left out.” I whined, staring at the tinfoil package. Looking passed the foil I saw the yellow heart-shaped pillow with the white lace around the edges. Before we left home, Mom cut off the ribbon that said, “Daddy” so I could keep it and put it in my Bible. Big elephant tears dropped from my eyes. I tried to hide them from Mom, but she was quick to see me wipe them away. I fiddled with a blade of grass, tearing it piece by piece. Searching for four leaf clover I tried to disguise my thoughts.

“I told you, the people at the funeral home took it out of the casket by mistake. They thought you wanted to keep it. They didn’t realize you wanted it left in there with your dad.” She continued to dig a hole next to dad’s headstone.

Even though I said the words that she wanted to hear, I didn’t understand and I didn’t care. Burying it wasn’t the same. I was hurt and angry. I felt wronged! Didn’t anybody care? I wanted that pillow inside the casket next to my daddy where it belonged, next to his heart, and we had to bury it in the dirt. Something was very wrong with this picture, but I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, much less do anything about it. So, here I sat, passively trying not to make a fuss, all the while my heart was breaking.

We finished up filling the vases of the other relatives with flowers before we left. This was thirty-five years ago almost to date. As I approach the anniversary of his death, I am grateful for God’s healing. I’ll be visiting the gravesite this weekend and as usual, I will think about the cemetery treasure buried along side my dad.

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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom06/22/06
I love cemetaries so your title drew me in. I enjoyed it very much but wanted to read more about the pillow, why it was special. Thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 06/23/06
Oh dear, my heart broke with 10-year-old you. I'm glad you told us that you've since healed from this sad event. A sweet, tender story.
terri tiffany06/25/06
You shared a part of the little girl in such a perfect way. I was there with her and my heart broke along with hers. I might suggest changing the last few sentences somehow to carry the impact somewhat more but I would not change a thing anywhere else. great job!
dub W06/26/06
Thanks for sharing this tight descriptive essay. Work on losing speech tags and all this will improve.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/27/06
It's difficult to leave a comment saying "Great Story"...when it is possibly a true story which is obviously very sad. But I liked the way you wrote it, and it kept my interest..and I understood your emotions. Thank you.