Harry Reynolds

We put Ian in his grave. We put him under a huge oak tree. We put him by a glen where the breeze sings and leaves rustle. We put Ian in his grave. We put him by a glen on a summer’s day

He was my grandson. On his 79th day, he died.

Our daughter sat on the grass by his side. She sat beside the flowers and the little stone angels. She longed to pull Ian up, to touch him, to embrace him, to never say goodbye.

I am an old man; haunted still. The world is unrelenting, unforgiving, but, it is also beautiful.

There is nothing right when a child dies. We all need a few songs; a few wondrous things, a life. We have one shot in this world; you have to understand that; you don’t have to accept it.

They tell you things will get better, that you should move on. Sometimes, they tell you to forget. I think it is better to remember, to accept the sadness that creeps through.

He died in his mother’s arms. From his first breath to his last, she was there with him. The doctors and nurses knew her well. One day, they held a parade through Ian’s room; it was a human thing.

Sometimes late at night I rage. You want something to batter, someone to blame. I held him; he is a ghost who never goes away.

I told him about his life the last night. Everybody deserves a life. I took him places in low talk in a quiet room as we rocked. Eased my mind in the telling; maybe, gave him a little peace.

There would be no Christmas, no birthdays, no school, no dances – no dreams. He would never meet a girl, never be a dad, never know the beauty of a flower.

Hey, Ian, you did your best.

Sometimes I rage. I would rip away the pain; abolish tears, and mandate smiles and laughter. I believe in God, yet I damn him every day. There must be accountability.

Through the blisters and pain, your mother was there. Mothers are these impossible creatures. Nothing compares, at least in this world. They are the sun, the stars; they are as eternal as time,

We buried Ian on a summer’s day.

We put him in his grave under the oak tree; we put him in a glen. Sometimes I go there. A cool stone marks the spot. There are flowers and notes; a way of talking.

We came on Christmas eve. We lit candles in little mason jars and sang holy songs and read the stories children love to hear. On their way to that place no one understands.

A few years ago, they chopped down the great oak. They took it before its time for no reason other than space. The tree was the watchman; it was a great gentle thing planted by some small seed.

I am not much with words; some things go beyond words and songs, and hopes and dreams.

I want a cosmic explanation.

Harry Reynolds can be reached at reynoldsharry1943@gmail.com

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