Eight beautiful roses were bought today, meaning eight months have passed. Today started like every 10th of the month does. I get ready, buy roses from the florist and head over to the cemetery. Typically, I clean off her headstone, put the roses in the vase and I write in my journals. I often wonder at these dates what she would be like, but the imagination can only run so far until reality hits. Tears flow and I grieve again.
Today was different. I promise you it’s not what you’re thinking, unless I already told you. I drive down the long road towards Babyland expecting to see her headstone exactly how I left it Tuesday. Fall picks in the vase and a little teddy bear my mom brought.
Today I drove up to find the vase gone, the bear in the leaves and the fall picks were destroyed, scattered around on the grass nearby. Upon further inspection, I see the adhesive all around the headstone and where the vase should be. I’m upset and crying. How did this happen?! Who did this?! Who do you talk to about this? I take a quick picture on my phone and drive to the cemetery office. Hope fell when I saw a note on the door saying they were closed today, but a gentleman waved me in and I quickly said what happened and showed him the picture. He was appalled that this happened. He was very apologetic that 1. I discovered it and 2. No one reported it.
He told me they would replace her headstone and would figure out who did it.
I went back to Penelope and inspected her headstone a little more. There were visible marks where it was struck and leaves were stuck under the headstone (assuming the headstone was knocked off and put back). I picked up the remnants of the fall picks out of the grass, laid down her roses and decided to take the bear home until her new headstone arrives.
Needless to say, today did not go as expected. I still sat and talked to her, cried and grieved. I’m not upset at the cemetery, more towards the person who did this without reporting their mistake. I know mistakes are made, we are human after all, and shame typically settles in. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. Whenever I struggle to forgive someone, I remind myself that I had to forgive the doctors who didn’t detect the umbilical cord defect. I wanted to blame someone, but I couldn’t. Just like today, I want to be upset at whoever hit her headstone, but I know deep down it was an accident.
At the end of the day, I can smile knowing she's ok, I can still go and talk to her, and the deer will eat well tonight.