Jess Burgh

Happy Anniversary

The sun had risen higher into a cloudy sky. Rays of sunlight occasionally peaked through giving life to a place that appeared dead. A breeze would pick up creating small tornadoes made up of orange, red, and brown leaves. As the wind died cars slowly pulled onto the gravel dirt path.

Pebbles began to fly in all different directions, some landing on the grass. Smoke escaped from the exhaust pipes, but soon disappeared. Car doors opened and closed, and alarms beeped as one or two people began walking up the dirt path. 'Crunch…crunch… crunch' the ground felt frozen and tough, gradually a small crowd gathered around one spot.

A white cloth covered something small and square. Parts of the cloth touched the frost bitten grass. Water began to seep into the soft material leaving wet spots.

"I think we're ready to begin." Mom whispered.

I nodded and we joined the rest of the crowd. Mr. Levine, our former neighbor came into the center of the crowd. He stood 5"9, shaved head, round face, green eyes which were behind a pair of frameless glasses. He was average built; He dressed in a long sleeve light brown blazer, white button down shirt, dark red tie, and long brown pants.

"I'd like to welcome you all to the unveiling for Les Burgh. Let's begin with the first prayer. It is on page three of the packet I handed out."

At first there was silence, while a hard wind began to blow. It stung everyone's faces, as if a swarm of bees had attacked. Soon their faces turned a shade of red as the wind died down. The silence was broken by the voices of the crowd's prayers. While they prayed, I began thinking Everyone has come to see you and you're going to miss another great party.

"Now, Jess would like to share something." Mr. Levine began

Everyone's eyes were on me. I took a step forward, holding a piece of paper. My hands shook from nervousness as I unfolded the paper.

"I wrote a poem called a part of me." I smiled

A part of me died with you at 4AM

A part of me watched as the nurses cleaned you up.

A part of me was there when she came in and took your wedding band; putting it on with hers.

A part of me sat by your coffin in the hearse as it pulled up to the grave sight.

A part of me was buried with you as family and friends placed a piece of earth upon your coffin.

A part of me sat surrounded by family and friends, feeling so numb; the world passed me by and time suddenly slowed down.

A part of me still stands her today, but a part of me is up there with him.

When I finished a tear ran down my cheek and I wiped it away. Damn, non-water proof mascara I sighed, putting the paper in my pocket. Afterwards mom bent down and unveiled the plaque we had designed for him. It was a dark brown background, brass letters spelling out his name in English and in Hebrew. It had a brass leaf border going all around the edge. 'It's simple and not too flashy. Thank god it's not covered in other Jewish symbols saying hey! Look over here!' This was definitely exactly what dad wanted.

As the crowd dispersed, returning to their cars, I stood looking down at the plaque. November 17, 2006 marked one year and all I could say was "Happy Anniversary Daddy."