She parked and looked around for a moment, before taking a deep breath and opening the door.
The cold wind buffeted her hair and scarf as she climbed out of the car, but she barely noticed. She was intent on finding the man she'd come here to see.
She had an idea of where to start, so she headed to the middle of the row where she thought he should be.
So many names, so many loved ones, but not hers.
She wandered along the next row, and the next, looking for those familiar letters, but nothing.
She glanced around again and tried to get her bearings. Everything looked so different. So many huge gum trees that she didn't remember being there the last time she visited.
Row after row, she looked, and bit by bit, started to fall apart. She didn't understand why it wasn't where she thought it should be. Admittedly, it had been a while since the last time, but not long enough that she didn't have a vague notion of where it was.
The huge, towering gum trees had displaced a few, and she started to worry that he was in one of those. But surely, she would have noticed a gum tree eight years ago! Yes, they could grow fast when given the right conditions, but as big as this? She didn't think so.
Wiping her tears, she walked back to the road and headed towards a map of the grounds. She could hop back in her car and leave, guilty, upset and discouraged, but she was determined to see this through. Her visit, was way overdue.
She discovered the row she was looking for was not as far up as she thought, and started again, this time using the map as a guide. When her eyes finally locked on to that familiar name, she started to sob, relief and grief taking over.
Her tears fell onto her father's grave once again.
What you have been reading isn't fiction.
This was me. Yesterday morning. Visiting my father's grave for the first time in roughly eight years.
It wasn't my intention to leave it so long. In fact, the last time I was there, I got so upset about the unkempt look about it, that I promised myself I would never leave it that long again.
But I did.
Probably longer, if the truth be known.
I know that the plaque is only a symbol, and what is really important is holding them in your heart and your memories. But I can't help but feel disrespectful. After all, I was daddy's girl.
You would think that after twenty eight years, it would become easier. Yet, I'm missing him more now than I ever have. I am heartbroken that he will never meet my family, and my children will never know their true grandfather. He would have adored them.
I honestly believe that you never get over losing someone you love. You just learn to live with it.
Some days are more of a struggle than others.
Today is again one of those.
Linking in with Jess from Diary Of A SAHM for IBOT.