Today marks one year exactly since Shorty died. Over my lunch break, I went to Schnucks to pick up some flowers, and ended up getting some stargazer lilies. Then I drove to the cemetery and put them on her grave. There were other flowers - some roses and daisies - as well as a little stuffed dog. It was old and raggedy. It might just be from the weather, or maybe it was something she had as a kid.
Either way, that little dog struck me. It looked sad, with huge, plastic eyes. Shorty loved dogs, so whoever put it there definitely knew that. It was almost as though it was protecting her, somehow.
There was also a new grave marker (is that even what it's called?). It was big enough for at least a couple of names, and had a vase in the center. There was a little Mizzou 'M' next to Shorty's name. That was nice, but also a little odd. I guess she was proud to go to Mizzou, but she wasn't exactly brimming over with school spirit. I'm pretty sure she never attended a sporting event, or was even interested in the school teams. None of us were, really. We were way too interested in other things.
It was weird, going to pick out flowers for a grave. I had no idea what to get. I just got what was cheap. Shorty would have been the last person to care about flowers, another reason I felt weird getting them. Being at the grave was weird, too. What do you do there? There was no one around, so I rearranged all of her flowers, and picked up some petals and whatnot that had blown around. Then I sat there for a minute or two. It was warm, and the sun felt good - a nice change from all the rain and clouds lately. It's just so awkward. People my age shouldn't have to go to the grave of a friend - we're too young for that. It did make me think of all the great afternoons we spent in the quad though, causing all kinds of trouble. We'd play cards, flirt with cute boys, talk about obscure issues, and occasionally launch water balloons at unsuspecting suckers. We'd study...wait, no. That was the other geeks.
Anyway, Shorty, I truly hope that whatever is out there for you is better than what you thought you had here. I know you suffered enough in your short life to fill at least a couple full ones. My heart can't let me believe you'd continue that suffering, no matter what anyone else believes.