I was really nervous about letting her get out of the car. Not because cemeteries are supposed to be spooky and creepy. But because I didn't want her to run around like a crazed maniac child, kicking headstones over and yelling and pulling out the cute balloons placed near the graves that read "Happy Birthday" to the deceased. Especially the green ones. Her favorite color.
I could see it ending quickly, full of tears and angry looks from the back seat.
So there we were, Rowen in the stroller, brave mommy watching a very excited Emma jump out of the car. I cringed. She took off, no, she ran. Like a gazelle running for it's life from a cheetah. From one headstone to another, calling out colors and shapes and pointing at flags and beautiful statues. I was wondering if this was seriously a bad idea. And it must've looked like I had no control over my child.
Then something happened.
She wasn't a crazed child. She wasn't running around messing up graves, destroying hallowed ground, or kicking headstones.
She was fixing their flowers.
As I watched my little girl run to each grave whose flowers had been carelessly knocked over or tossed aside from the wind, I realized what I was witnessing. A little girl, servicing others. She wasn't seeking thanks or a choir of angels singing her praise. She definitely wasn't going to get that from those she was eagerly helping. And she knew that. That isn't why she was doing it. My eyes were not dry as I watched her bending and replacing each flower. She'd dust them off, tell me how beautiful they were, and then I'd tell her the name of the person on the headstone.
I told her I was sure they appreciated her.
The rest of the time there at our special cruising place was almost magical, and sweet. We watched a woman visit a grave and place a flower on it. And then we watched as she softly kissed the headstone. We looked at the pictures of the deceased, etched permanently on certain stones.
When it was time to leave she didn't cry. She didn't complain. She pointed out the window and urged me to stop so she could fix the flowers on someone's grave that we had missed. And when I kept driving she seemed sincerely sad.
I underestimated her. I saw her heart today, and I saw her love. I saw Emma, in all her perfect glory.
I know they say we aren't held accountable until we are a certain age. But I know it was written in the book today, somewhere high in the Heaven's. A little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes...full of compassion...stopped to fix someone's flowers.
I'm sure to someone watching nearby, she was just a silly girl, living in her silly little world.
But to those whose names were engraved on those headstones......it was priceless.