Visiting Old Friends

April 24th, 2016

Karin, Hans, and I drove out to the Catholic cemetery in Calvert. Tom is buried there, alongside his wife, Delphia. Delphia died in 2012. We drove along the cratered road to the cemetery, and stopped at Tom’s fresh grave. The large mound of reddish clay had some wilted flowers on top of it. Karin saw a food wrapper laying near the grave, and asked Hans, “Do you think this belongs here?”


Hans said, “Unless Tom got up to get himself a Big Mac, I don’t think so.”


Karin said that sometimes people leave odd offerings at graves, but then she picked up the wrapper and threw it away.


We said a prayer for Tom and Delphia. I don’t know how Hans felt. He had been there for the funeral a few days earlier. Hans had arranged a military color guard for Tom. Tom’s family had appreciated it, since Tom was a vet.


After a while, we left and drove to another Catholic cemetery, this one in Bryan. We had a hard time getting to it, because the road was all torn up. We parked next to my brother’s grave. Marc Blaze died in 1998 in a car crash. He was married to Shawn for seven years. Shawn’s second husband, Bob, is lying next to Blaze. Bob died of cancer in 2012.


A lot of people that Hans knew are gone now. Hans was close with Tom, Delphia, and Bob. Hans knew Blaze years ago, but I’m not sure how much they connected. Mark, Shawn’s brother, killed himself last year, and Hans was tight with him. Hans lost a couple of his veteran friends last year too. Overall, Hans has seen a lot of death, both in war and here at home. It depresses him, and he grieves silently. Hans often seems much older than his twenty-nine years.


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