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Over 60...and Getting Younger: November 12, 2010

Duty

This past Wednesday I did my duty!

I traveled to Staten Island to tidy up and say a few prayers at my parents’ graves. Refreshing my bonds with my mother and father is always pleasurable and meaningful to me. No matter what is done, the weeds keep coming in and popping up, uninvited on the gravesite.

About two years ago my sister and I ended the Perpetual Care system with the grave overseers. All we got for our substantial amount of money was unkempt sites that were scraggly and full of unsightly plants that had taken root in the rectangular concrete beds in front of the memorial stone. Standing in front of the gravesite was an opportunity to speak again to my parents.

We cleared out all the weeds and the unasked for foliage and supplanted them with marble chips. The marble chips purchased from Home Depot came in 50-pound bags that required much muscular strength to use. We bought six bags and some plastic lining to prevent new growth.

It sounds easier than the actual task proved to be. Digging the weeds with a shovel was the start. Cutting the plastic to size was another chore. Then, dumping the marble chips and smoothing them out was the final operation.

As we looked over our job, we wondered how it would look in a year. This past Wednesday, we found out. Weeds and grass had taken root in both parents’ grave beds. And we thought two years ago that we had circumvented nature, but we were wrong.

It took a good hour to get rid of the plant life in the beds. We had fortunately brought two more bags of marble chips and we filled in the places that needed it. It was and is just a small way to thank my mother and father for all they had done for us.

Afterwards, my sister and I recited the proper Hebrew prayers, tidied up the beds and traveled home to Long Island. On the way home, we stopped at a diner in Sheepshead Bay for some nourishment after carefully washing our hands.

There is no feeling like the feeling that one gets after one has done one’s duty. Nothing need be said but it envelops the soul. Do the right thing, and you will never have regrets!

We look forward, with trepidation, to see how the gravesite will look next year, when we again visit our parents.