Gethesmane Cemetary is a small, forgotten field near Detroit’s City Airport. Broken and fallen tombstones fight for space amongst a chokehold of weeds and overgrown grass. Dirt and mold conceal the names etched on the stones. No one is buried here anymore. Few come to visit those that were.
It is appropriately quiet here. In the distance, I can hear the faint heartbeat of a city on life support. I am looking down upon a grave with my father’s name on it.
He’s not buried here.
Two years before he was born, my grandparents had a child that lived for only a few weeks. It had my father’s name. When the child passed, they kept it for the next male child. I am told that at one time this was common practice. To me it seems somewhat morbid.
Dad never made a big deal out of things like this. As far as he was concerned, it was always his name.
He’s been gone for three years now. His ashes are with my stepmother, who keeps them close because she needs to. One day she might put them to earth, or spread them to the winds. Dad doesn’t mind waiting.
There’s already a grave with his name on it anyway.