Earlier this week, one of my high school girls, Lauren (who left me a love note on my car window), asked if I would drive her to the cemetery where her childhood best friend was buried. Tragically, he was hit by a car and died in front of her four years ago. This is the first time she would visit his grave since the accident.
How can you say no to a request like that? She called it a favor, I considered it a duty.
On Saturday, armed with blended drinks from Starbucks, we found ourselves walking around headstones looking for his name. Lauren didn't know where in the cemetery he was located, but she looked pretty, wearing a black dress and bright red shrug.
Being that it was 84 degrees out that afternoon, we gave it an hour and then regrouped. Thankfully, she was able to find his obituary online and, in turn, the address of the hosting funeral home. We drove there and a kind man named Bill looked up the boy's burial records and showed us a map of the grounds.
With his help, we went back to the cemetery and found young Cody's grave within minutes. I left Lauren alone, as she laid a potted plant next to the others and wept.
Later that evening, I drove to Akron to watch one of my young friends dance. It was her 14th birthday.
This is the fourth production I've seen Victoria in over the past two years. She has grown as a performer and is no longer scared on stage. She is confident and graceful, and can even dance on pointe. Two of my other high school girls are also in the troupe, Sarah and Angela. Angela danced the lead in this show, beautifully.
Victoria's mom found me a seat two rows from the stage, giving me one of the best view's in the auditorium. It brought me so much joy watching all of the young people on stage, expressing more (through movement) than words ever could. I had to ask the gal sitting next to me for a Kleenex. I cried like a proud mama would.
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." - Pericles