When I was about 13 I was running around a cemetery at night with my brothers and cousin. I came across a stone with a weird porcelain oval on it. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a pack of matches, lit one and held it up to the stone. With the glow of fire behind him, the overbearing eyes of the dead man knocked me back onto my ass.
I don’t know why I like riding my bike through cemeteries. Maybe it’s the peacefulness. I look at the names on the stones, the dates and wonder who the person was. Who put them there. Who misses them. Today I went into a new cemetery near my house. Apparently it’s mostly Ukranian. The older half had many of these portraits. I stared at these knowing there was a story behind each one. The first little girl was radiant. Joseph was killed in Vietnam three days after I was born. Paul and Nickolas told me a little taste of their story.
All these people are dust now. I’m sure most have been forgotten or not thought of for years. Today, I thought about each one of them. People I have and can never meet still touched me.