I drove down the long pathway to the infant's section in the cemetery. I parked and took those all-too-familiar steps to Harlynn's spot. I cleared some leaves from her marker, adjusted her little pinwheels, and I sat to spend time with her.
I had a lot to tell her. As I fought off the mosquitoes and bees, determined not to let them influence my time visiting Harlynn, I stopped to glance around. The leaves are turning on the trees. They're falling to the ground. The grass is preparing itself for winter and cold. The deer were all around, grazing on what's left of the fresh morsels. Everything in the cemetery will be bare in a few months. Everything will be dry, brittle, and void of vibrancy.
But come spring....they'll all come back to life. Grass will green. Trees will sprout leaves. Flowers will bloom. Life will return. Yet no one resting underground there will.
It isn't fair. I don't suppose we've ever believed that life would be. But of all the unfair things....this.... this just isn't fair.
I turned back to Harlynn's spot, tears in my eyes. Oh I wish love was enough to keep her. How I wish any amount of tears could bring her back. I begged her, as I do every visit, to come and see me - somehow, some way, show me who and how she is. Let me hear her voice. Let me see her adorable chin. Her bright eyes. I asked her a few favors. Told her a few secrets. Whispered a prayer.
As I walked back to the car, and startled the deer nearby, I saw a doe with two fawns. She wouldn't take her eyes off me as her babes grazed nearby. "I won't hurt them," I promised. "I envy you a little." She stood a little straighter, glanced at her fawn who had laid down behind her, then bowed her head a little in my direction. She was a proud, protective mama. We both were.
I don't know what the future has in store for us. Wherever this road takes us, and whatever lies ahead, however, will not be untouched by, or ignorant of Harlynn's influence. She is still a branch on our family tree. She will bear fruit for always.