He led The Way
In May of 2008, I and my three kids and granddaughter took a trip back home to Ohio to visit my Mom on her 75th birthday. We spent a week in her home, and oh, the stories I have! But this one has nothing to do with her house.
My daughter's father was killed in a motorcycle accident three weeks before she was born. Well, for reasons that I won't go into, she has never had any contact with his family until earlier in the year, before our trip. Basically, she was rejected by his mom.
I had been to his grave site only once, when she was about three. I really didn't feel the need to, as I KNOW that he is with me still. She is a grown woman now, and I felt that she needed to visit him.
My Mom lives about an hour from where I grew up. She was kind enough to lend us her car for the day so I could show my kids my old stomping grounds and such. We moved to Las Vegas 17 years ago, and my boys barely remember it.
We took a long time to get to my hometown, as we made a few stops along the way. (another great story!). We finally arrived at the cemetery, and as we pulled in, my daughter said,"Oh, Mommy, how are we going to find it?". This is an extremely large cemetery. Thousands of graves. I said,"I know where it is...". But, needless to say, either my memory failed me or they moved his grave, because it was not where I thought it was. All I could say was " I know it's on a hill by some big trees...". To which my daughter replied, "Mommy, this is OAK HILL cemetery, lots of hills and trees!"
We drove around and around, stopped and looked at some headstones, and were becoming quite discouraged, as we were running out of daylight. When finally, I dropped her and my son JR off at one spot and drove to a small mausoleum on top of a little hill. I got out of the car, looked around and lit a cigarette, and in my frustration, I said," you son-of-a-bi*ch, you better show me where you are!".
The kids came back to the car shortly thereafter, and we proceeded down the hill, slowly. Suddenly I had the urge to stop the car and I did. I told the kids, "we're going up that hill".
My daughter, youngest son and I started walking up the hill and reading the stones that we passed. Our positions were: JR ahead and a little to the right of me, Leslie to the left and slightly behind me. As we approached the top of the hill, she was looking up at the trees for some reason, and her toe hit on something. As she looked down, there, about two feet in front of her was his headstone. All I heard was a gasp and " oh my God... Here it is...". I walked over to her, and sure enough, there it was. I turned around to signal my other son who was in the car with my granddaughter that we had found it. The bumper of the car was in line exactly to his grave. I took pictures of the car, but they didn't come out as I am stupid about how to use the flash, and it was duskish. Funny thing though, most of the others did.
We let her spend some time alone with him, and if she spoke to him or not, I didn't ask.
I think it's a good thing that John always had a great sense of humor, and didn't mind me calling him the name that I did!