On a small fieldtrip by myself I wandered about a beautiful old cemetery in my town. Mature trees line the many roads that meander through the majestic park like setting. It is known not only for the unbelievable monuments and unique headstones but also for its ponds and the ducks that occupy the land. Wanting to photograph the entire area I drove in my minivan in no particular direction. Every time a statue caught my attention I stopped the car took my camera and started shooting. Having witnessed the geese landing on the pond, the beautiful swan spreading her wings and the rolling hill sides I explored more.
I found myself on a road towards the back of the cemetery it looked vaguely familiar. You see I had visited this cemetery only once before with my grandmother now age 93 about 4 years earlier to visit her husband’s grave, my grandpa. I never knew my grandpa he died before I was born God brought him home at the young age of 46 leaving my grandmother as a young widow. Due to the winding roads and many varied sections of the cemetery I knew it would be futile to try to search for his grave.
I had just finished photographing a rather unusual statue when I climbed into my car and started to move forward but I felt something in me stop the car. Looking around I felt pulled to my left, resisting the feeling I started to move the car once more thinking “I have to get home and practice my talk for tomorrow. I need to eat lunch. Write another blog and then go to get the kids. I don’t have time to stop. I have been here for almost an hour.”
Then I stopped myself. You see the talk I was to give the following day was centered on listening and pausing for reflection. I knew I had to stop the car and get out. I continued to think there must be a monument hidden behind the hill that I am suppose to see. As my heels sank into the hillside I realized it looked similar to where my grandpa’s grave had been but knowing there were hundreds that looked alike I had already assured myself that I would never find it. Then I remembered my Grandmother saying “It’s in the 3rd row.” I walked up took a left and found an empty space and then his stone, my grandpa Clifford Gordon. The stone was flat and worn in the ground nothing expensive or extraordinary like what I had photographed and deemed worthy of my exploration. Here I was in front of his grave. I have heard stories all my life but never meet the man so it is hard to call him Grandpa. I lowered myself to sweep off the freshly mowed grass from the stone looking at the dates and I prayed and talked to him for the first time in my 36 years and I cried. I cried that I had not met this man that brought me to where I am today. I cried that I had never grieved for his life or his death and I cried that I would never know him. I cried for all the love he left behind. I gathered myself stood up and saw a bush nearby with flowers growing wild picking one I placed it on his grave thinking “I hope others know he was loved.”
Starting my car I called my mom on my cell phone and told her my story how unbelievable that I could find his grave and that I felt so pulled by him to visit his grave. Her voice a bit shaky responded “He wanted to support you Lori. He was a public speaker and tomorrow you will give your first motivational talk. He will be there in spirit with you. Oh, he wanted you there I just know he did.” In tears we ended the conversation.
Returning home I called my Grandmother and told her she was also amazed. “He wants you to speak Lori, he must. You see when he was alive he was on the radio and when television started in Detroit someone approached him about being on TV. He said no. I always thought he missed his calling. Maybe he is passing it on to you now.”
“Grandma I don’t want to be on TV. I just want to speak to others about God’s love for them.” I assured my Grandma.
“I know that but I think he wants you to speak like he did.” Replied my grandma
What an amazing experience it is to be pulled to something. I could have resisted and turned away because of the busyness of my day but I stopped and listened and I learned, grieved and grew. We must all listen more intently in our lives and let God guide us instead of our To Do lists.
I am Clifford Gordon’s granddaughter and proud to be speaking on God’s behalf!