Thursday, June 10, 2010

BELOVED CHILD

BELOVED CHILD
Jane-Ann Heitmueller

While strolling placidly among the weathered markers of a rolling Tennessee cemetery on June 5, 1995, I took refuge from the blazing sun under the expansive limbs of an elderly, gnarled Oak Tree. As I stooped to rest, I spied the worn corner of a protruding, small, gray marker nestled at the base of the tree. Straining to read the words carved into the broken , aged stone I was startled to discover that the date was June 5, 1885, exactly one hundred years ago today! A sensation of intrusion filled my spirit as I sensed the sorrow felt, a century ago, on this very ground by the family of “Beloved Child”. Kneeling silently, a reverence overcame me. How strange that I was led to this plot on this very day.

How many years have passed since any mortal has recalled the miniscule life and heart-wrenching death of this tiny, God given soul? Was there any memory, by family and friends, of one whose life was but a mere ember on the blazing journey of life? Was annual tribute paid in the form of visitation or floral donations? My mind answered these questions negatively, sadly, but with total amazement that I had been divinely directed to this site today. My heart and thoughts were joyful with the realization that they were awarded this generous, unexpected gift; the opportunity to renew and transport homage to this tiny, departed being, whose life and untimely passing I now annually celebrate.

A Tribute

The overhanging leaves of oak obscure the weathered stone.
A child resting at my feet, whom I have never known.
Upon this site, this very day, one hundred years ago, your
family hovered, filled with grief, their sorrow tears did flow.
‘Twas but a mere two years, sweet babe, this verdant earth you
trod , before the angels called you home, your sleepy head to nod.
True happenstance has led me here, upon this sacred ground.
Pure fate, unknown within my soul, this memory stone I’ve found.
So rest dear child, precious one, whose Mother rocks you sweet.
I celebrate your life with joy.
Perhaps one day we’ll meet.

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