Nathanial Garrod

The Six Year Trip

After five years, it seemed like I should see where she was now.

I had a drivers license, a car, and no class on Monday.

As my bagel warmed up in the toaster over, I threw some snacks into a bag – some cuties, a few granola bars, and two bottles of water, along with my full reusable bottle.

The slow backroads of Rohnert Park passed away to the slower backroads of Cotati as I drove towards Highway 101.

A few dark clouds hung in the sky. My windows were cracked just slightly as I began the drive south. The dark clouds turned to rain just past the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

I had little for my destination but an address.

I crossed the mountains east of Livermore and the windmills waved me off to Interstate-5. Clear skies and warmer weather greeted me. My windows rolled down as the Back to the Future theme came on. I sped up to 88 miles an hour for a few seconds, then got bored and slowed back down.

My exit drew closer.

Empty fields and no traffic greeted me in the middle of nowhere.

I made a few turns, and parked

Grass waved on the hills around me.

I parked my car, got out and walked around. I had the number I was looking for, but no idea where to go, so I wandered around a building, by a fountain, along some flagpoles. Then I saw a sign pointing to the number I was looking for. My heart skipped a beat and I stood still for a moment.

I took one step forward, then another. I found myself walking until I passed the number I was looking for. I took a few steps back then turned to the one I was looking for.

There she was.

“Hi mom,” I whispered, looking down at her gravestone for the first time.

“I guess this is the closest we’ve been in a few years, huh?”

I sat down and ran my fingers along the engraving of her name.

Mom's Gravestone

Mom’s Gravestone

I looked on for a few moments, looked at the mountains around me, and stood.

“I love you mom,” I said, realizing that I was just at a place. A place with a stone. A stone that represents a person. A person who has never been to that place. So why should that place be significant to me.

I realized that more significant is the sidewalk I was walking on two days before she died when I had to stop and cry for 10 minutes. That more significant that this place were places I had been with my mom. People who knew her.

“This is just a stone,” and I looked up “I love you mom.”

I got back in my car, not even 30 minutes after arriving, and started to drive back.

When I Look at You by Miley Cyrus came on, and I shed a few tears, remembering that death is permanent and realizing that so is the impact of life truly lived.

2 Comments on “The Six Year Trip

  1. Pingback: Father’s Day Musings | Nathanial Garrod

  2. Pingback: 10 Years Time: A Memorial | Nathanial Garrod

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2013 by in Uncategorized.


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