The fact of the turnoff, behind brushy hilly growth, materialized at the last minute, and I swung the wheel to the left, to the narrow gravel road, up a jot, to the drive, though the open ornate gate. A small rectangular really of a field. Could not have been more than 50 markers. I drove up a faded, grassy, gravelly lane to mine and spotted his face smiling above his sixteen year old shirt selection of a day, of an eternity. Wide white collar above a tan bodice with white sleeves. His hair feathered into style, longish in the back, wide wings. His eyes' sparkle hidden by the glaze, yet known to those who remembered, whom he loved. Including me, a young and everlasting girlfriend.
Old plastic blue dirty flowers were leaning over next to his stone, contrasting with the bright new Memorial Day attire of those next to him. I pushed in my bright yellow irises and saw a future mission. Where were his parents? I think they moved to Ohio. They haven't visited for a while. Am I the only local one left for him and this cold stone? Why is the cedar tree closely planted? What are the roots destroying down below? The practical questions when one suddenly becomes a steward again. And then it hit boldly: the short life, one unlived, the parent's dream cut short, the wreck, the sadness, the unfairness snuffing a bright spark.
My son and I drove on, up curvy Highway 5, where trucks sail away, where tears are blinked. Twenty-six years ago. It still appears to shock.