Catalina's Eyes

March 19, 2008
By Aurora Pfefferkorn, Montville, NJ

In books and movies when important people die the weather is awful. It is cold wet and rainy. The sky is usually an icy grey as hundreds of sobbing people make there way to pay their respects.
had expected Sunday to be that way, but I found a very different scene when I arrived at the Stret Cemetery. The sky was a pale blue sprinkled with clouds, and the sun shined brightly upon the changing earth. It was the 10th of October, and the leaves had shades of brilliant reds and oranges. I expected a mass amount of people to gather, however only small group of people stood outside the cemetery gates.
I waited and silently hoped that more people would arrive. I recognized the man coming up to the large gates. Ray. Dressed in Sunday best, tie and all, Ray stood beside the gate waiting for the whole group to arrive. He nodded to me and I nodded back slightly. I didn’t like Ray, but now was not the time to think about such childish competitions.
Once all ten of us had arrived Ray opened those large gates and led the group up the path. We began to walk the length of the hill. The path was paved neatly and miles of headstones surrounded us on both sides. I could feel tears and sobs threaten to spill loose, and I quietly choked them back down. My hands were cold, even in morning sun.
I blinked back tears of anger as we walked farther. The headstones at this point were crumbling, and the names unreadable. How could I resign her to this fate? How could I make my beloved nameless and her passion forgotten?
I looked out among the headstones and trees. The colors were truly spectacular. As I surveyed the land I couldn’t help but think of her. The brilliant red leaves reminded me of her cascading locks, and the lush green grass brought back the memories of her sparkling eyes. My step slowed, I was in no hurry to reach my destination.
Ray led us off the path and we carefully walked between the headstones, being respectful to the others who had perished. There on the side of this hill, was a firm headstone, plain grey stone, and readable. I knew immediately it was hers.
I stepped foward “I feared the end of this journey. I walked slowly here, hoping that maybe God would see how much Catalina was missed and loved, and when we all arrived here, it would be she waiting smiling for us, laughing as if this was a joke or lesson we all had to learn.” I placed my hand on the coffin. “Catalina did something none of us could do she had such bravery and passion, she was such a lively person. I think we all agree that Catalina made us feel like people again. I don’t think anybody could make us feel so alive.” “Catalina was more than a friend, she was the very reason I awoke each morning and the very thing I dreamed about each night. Catalina, my darling Catalina you will be loved.”
I stayed and watched silently as the coffin was lowered into the ground. I too let my tears run hot and free down my cheeks. I smile slightly remembering her laugh and her heart warming smile. I remembered how brilliant and beautiful her skin and hair looked glimmering in the sun. It was then did I realize I was happy it was sunny.
My eyes still shrouded in a sadness that would never leave them I left her grave. I made my way down the street, hands in my pockets. Children played baseball in a near by park, their shouts I could easily hear. At the bus stop two men argued over whom was going to be elected as the new leader and neither seemed to be winning the fight. I looked in the store window as I passed, a large sign hung proudly. “The Perfect Place” By Catalina Lont: The first book in 100 years.

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