Wine and dead people

Sunflowers at grave site Today marks two years Mom is gone, and yesterday my friend Saul and I went to the grave site for our second annual trip. It was also the first time I'd been to the grave since we buried Dad in January. We sipped wine under a tree near the stone while we made up elaborate and possibly insane stories about the lives and deaths of the people around them. Poor Anna really shouldn't have been playing with that wood chipper.

I cranked up the iPod and set it on the grave so Dad could listen to some Sinatra. I hope mom shut up long enough for him to listen. When I picked up the iPod again, "My Way" was playing. It was the song Dad would sing at the top of his lungs at parties, the last song on the playlist, and the one that makes me cry if I've had a couple of glasses of wine.

In front of the stone, right over the grave, five tiny sunflower plants grew up from the dirt: three facing down toward the dirt and two looking up at the sun. When I was 8, I planted a sunflower plant in the front yard that became a towering monstrosity. It was awesome -- the one and only plant that has thrived under my care. When I played outside, I would stop and eat some seeds. Mom tore it out because it was close to the car and looked like someone lurking in the dark.

It's easy to see why people attach spiritual meaning to mundane things, but I like to think the sunflowers were for me. Apology accepted, Mom.

Then we celebrated Devon's birthday at Toby's Public House. He was 36 yesterday. Give him a hard time if you see him.