I drove to Michigan on Saturday morning. I was sipping on my iced latte, listening to Adele and my mind was wandering off. I took a different route than I normally do. Well, I guess I will admit…a little embarrassingly; for some reason I started to get on the toll way and snapped out of my fog to get back on track to turn right when I should have gone left. It wasn’t that going right was the wrong way; I just never go that way.
I cruised down the road and turned right onto 12 and there it was…the little cemetery where my stepdad Earl and his loyal dog Lady were buried over 18 years ago. I couldn’t believe it. I pulled over. I hadn’t realized it was this close to my apartment. I hadn’t been there in…sadly, almost 15 years, but I had thought of him just the other day.
At first I felt sad I hadn’t been back since I returned to Elkhart and I also felt somewhat guilty. Earl, it’s me…I surprise myself as I said it out loud.
My stepdad passed away my senior year of college – November 11, 1992.
I wanted to get out of the car but I didn’t think I had time. There wasn’t anyone there but it didn’t feel empty. It didn’t feel sad. I found myself wondering…what lead me here? Whatever it was…I was happy about it. I know I’ve passed it before but it’s a quaint, tiny little cemetery. If you were looking the other way or if your mind was wandering off…you could miss it…like I must have done several times before.
I promised Earl I would come back this next weekend. I plan to bring some flowers and sit awhile with him and Lady.
It’s easy to get in ruts. Finding yourself following a routine for the comfort in the mundane. What happened to taking the road less traveled? I’ve always thought I was a master at change…remember, I’m the rolling stone that collects no moss. The first to jump when a new opportunity comes my way. Yet, here I am reminded that I was going down the same path…taking the same turns and ignoring the butterfliez…the birdz...the beez and all that was there to see.
Thank you to whatever made me turn right instead of left. Thank you to whatever made me look left and realize where I was. Thank you to Katie for having me up to the lake…otherwise, I still wouldn’t have discovered it.
I can’t wait until Saturday. I’m going to grab my coffee, a beautiful bouquet and go sit a spell next to my friend and tell him what I’ve been up to.
I’m looking forward to sitting awhile and remembering his lake house on Cloverdale he shared with me, the walks we would take together when I came home to visit from school and how when I left he would hand me some gas money and a Symphony chocolate bar for the road and tell me not to wait too long before I came back…