The sun was glowing softly behind a cloud. Orange was stretched out over the sky. Long shadows. Rows of small gray stones surrounded me, a sea of forgotten names. I stand, a giant, taller than every stone. I come here often. I come to see where we all end up. Among these stones I walk. Searching the rows of grief for a sign of hope. I see some of the stones are covered in flowers and pictures, but over time the flowers cease to come and the pictures fade. Others are large and expensive tombs, but these are covered in weeds and moss for they were never visited at all. It seems no one will be remembered. I turn to leave when I see, in the distance, a single rose. The red of the pedals was not faded with time and the green of the stem was lush and full of life, a single diamond sitting amongst coal, a signature of love and life lying above the forgotten and dead. It was stunning.
I come to the yard everyday now. I walk to that stone, and everyday there is a new rose as pure as virgin snow. This stone was not lost in the memory of it's loved ones. My hand touch's the cool stone and I try to imagine this life. What was it about this one that made it so special? No mention of it being a loving father or husband. No cross. No armed forces. Who was this person? There is only a name and two dates. I starred, transfixed. I wasn't focused on the name, or the dates. I was looking at the small dash in between the dates. In that line there must have been love. In that tiny amount of space a person spent years, decades. That small line curved in stone was a lifetime, a lifetime that would be remembered, not by me, but by the owner of this rose.
In the fields around me are hundreds of candles that lost their flames. They were snuffed out and soon after even the smoke faded into the wind. I look down, and even though this candle was blown out with all the rest, I can still feel its heat. A life that survives death. A love that continues. A new rose everyday.