Gorgeous Grandson turned one at the weekend, and Youngest Daughter sensibly decided that, rather than have a party for a little one who wouldn’t appreciate it, she would have a Grandparent Cluck party instead.

Accordingly Hub and I, and GG’s other grandparents, arrived for lunch on Saturday and spent a happy afternoon admiring all his latest exploits, concluding that he is a GENIUS (of course – see who his grandparents are??) and being rewarded by watching him take his first independent steps. A lovely time and we do like the in-laws!

From there, the 30 miles to the churchyard where my parents’ ashes are buried. It is almost a year since Dad died and I haven’t seen the gravestone since his name and other details were added.

I was a bit apprehensive, but as I walked into the churchyard the sun came out. It is beautifully-kept and full of spring flowers. Very warm in the sunshine, the birds all singing their spring song. I walked up the path and there was a blackbird standing on a post – so still, I wondered for a minute if he was carved, until he turned his head to look at me – almost as if he was saying ‘welcome to my territory!’ He didn’t move.

I discovered some friends had kindly planted a line of crocus bulbs along the edge of the stone. I had brought a heavy pot with some dwarf hyacinths in it, and set it at the head.

It was so peaceful, and as I stood there, tears blurring my eyes and mixing with the thankfulness in my heart, a man came round the end of the church and greeted me. ‘I’ve done the gardening as far as the tap’, he told me. ‘I’ll come back another day and do the rest.’

A gardener! – my mind flew to that famous resurrection appearance of Jesus to Mary in the garden of the tomb, when she thought he was the gardener. It was a very special and completely unexpected moment.

As I walked back down the path, taking pictures of the flowers and trying to capture the sunny peace of the place, two brilliant yellow brimstone butterflies suddenly appeared and darted among the flowers. I’ve never seen those before.


To cap this list of blessings, the gardener ‘happened’ to have his file in his car with the history of the church in it. As I left the churchyard he held out a cutting to me. It was of my father, who was vicar there when the church tower was struck by lightning, and consequently had the job of getting it fixed.

‘You can keep it’, he said.

Come to think of it, the real Jesus wasn’t in the grave.

And neither are my parents.


28 thoughts on “OF BABIES AND GRAVES

  1. How amazing… what a wonderful experience and the two butterflies….. Lovely post and how very blessed your visit to your father’s grave. It could not have been more special from the sounds of it! xxx


    1. When it was their golden wedding I gave them a framed print of two arctic terns flying. Somehow the two golden butterflies seemed symbolic of them too!

      Thanks, dt. It was a very blessed visit and I feel God was especially kind to me 🙂

      Is that St Teresa of Avila by the way??


      1. God was definitely being especially generous and personal for you :yes: I am certain the butterflies were specially for you too :yes: He did all that just for YOU! 😀

        The avatar is a picture of Our Lady of Sorrows wot I found on t’internet…. I am sure she must have felt she was up there on the cross with him and felt what he felt almost as his mother?

        I don’t know much about St Teresa even though she was a Carmelite so I suppose I ought to make it my business to know 😳 I’ve got a great tome of her writings and failed to address it with my unflinching attention yet!


      2. It is one of those things you suddenly have the yen to read and just do it – but you have to be in the right frame of mind and absolutely on the ball…. Might take several attempts before being able to get stuck in :yes:


      1. The worse ‘thing’ is Daughter’s and she is getting ok with it so I’m alright too therefore if you know what I mean…. even though, with the weary old eye |-| of experience…. I know what she doesn’t know, that you don’t get over that thing, quite, for many many years and sometimes maybe not quite ever.

        Poor child has to find that out for herself – that is what is tearing me most. Specially after Dog. She is being put through the mill and I just have to ‘be there’ for her but not interfere….. However…. much prayer will help – me if not her!!


      2. If it will help at all feel free to send me an email or private message. Sometimes it’s good to tip it all out even though it doesn’t change anything!

        Ah – the breaking mother’s heart. I know it well, and so did the BVM. It hurts more than words can say.


      3. It does indeed….. and thank you …. I might write you a mail… am off to bed now I’ve almost staggered through to 10pm :)) Coming down with a cold and need to crawl into my pit I think… it’s been a long day today….. Daughter is bearing up well but she is a quiet and cool seeming customer from the outside but there is no knowing what is going on inside her head. Think boyfriend is going to get the boot – wouldn’t be surprised… so more upset and heart-ache on the cards… ho hum….


    1. I was never more aware of this than at this time last year, Shimon. I was staying with my youngest daughter after she came home from hospital with her baby, and at the same time my father was dying 30 miles away. I went straight from a birth to a death. My grandson bears my father’s name.


  2. I find the grandparents parties best of all. When I am in London I go and tend to my dads and grandparents graves they are close and I often spend time just enjoying the peace and birds.
    My grandfather had been a keeper in that cemetary and when I was little would often take him his lunch and sit there with him, he would show me where the blackbirds nests were and I loved it there.
    So glad you had a good visit.


    1. Thanks, Murphy! I was very close to my Dad and it’s the first time I’ve been able to visit the grave since he was buried last April. I do feel I was showered with lovely things!


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