A Cemetery Visit
There are only so many routes to the Englishman’s workplace and the road from the interstate through Sharon, Georgia is the most direct. Railroad tracks that are still in use follow the road and Sharon boasts a tiny post office, stately homes from years gone by and the oldest Catholic Church in Georgia. A small sign points the way to the original church site and the remaining cemetery dating to the 1700s.
Tucked away from the rural road, I have visited the Locust Grove Cemetery on a few occasions. It is surrounded by a stone wall and the many headstones are difficult to decipher. As the Englishman stopped our truck, I jumped out and carefully helped our 16-year old English Cocker Spaniel, Molly, to the ground. In the past year, her hearing had completely vanished and her vision diminished as well. She sniffed the air and then followed us into the cemetery.
Birds chirped overhead in the canopy of trees. The grounds were difficult to navigate with unexpected low points filled with water from the recent rain earlier in the week. Autumn leaves still covered the ground, a contrast to the snow drops and daffodils carpeting the ground with blossoms of bright white and lemon yellow.
Molly shuffled through the crisp, brown leaves until she found a dip of rain water. She pressed down into it, covering her belly and lapped up a mouthful. The Englishman rushed to the truck to retrieve her bottled water and a towel. Molly met us at the entrance to the cemetery and the Englishman poured clean water into a Ziploc bag that was improvised into a bowl. Molly lay on the ground, a paw on either side of the bag and started to drink. I perched on a small, flat rock and the Englishman stood a few feet away. Molly abruptly raised her head and moved it upward from side to side.
“What is she doing?” I asked the Englishman. He stepped forward and crouched down next to her, lightly touching her back. “Are you finished, Molly?” he asked. Molly’s head lowered once again to her water bowl. The Englishman stroked the top of Molly’s head. She stopped drinking, raised her head and moved it upward from side to side.
As we drove away, Molly on a towel next to me and sun flickering through gaps in the trees, I wondered if someone from long ago was happy to have the chance to pet a dog once more.