Grass of Tears

September 25, 2008
My speedometer didn’t pass eight miles per hour as I crept down the old black-top road. I looked all around me and took in the scenery. The tree’s surrounding me, each holding a history unknown to the rest of us, rustled against the wind. I started to slow down as my destination grew a little closer. I could feel my hands grip the steering wheel a little harder, only to loosen as a deep breathe departed my body. My left hand slid off the steering wheel and underneath my chin. I pulled into the grass and sat there for a second, and listened to the song that was playing on my stereo: “I Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd; ironic. I stared straight ahead, took a deep breath, dropped my head, turned the ignition back towards me and threw the keys onto the passenger seat. I had arrived to my destination; to a place that has seen my face more times than a 16 year old probably should have to recollect.

I stepped out of my car, and into the grass. I closed my door behind me, and then started to walk. I didn’t have very far to go, maybe 25 feet, at most. I had on shin-high socks on with a pair of black shorts and my number 55 jersey on: Game night. I started to walk toward the towering lights of the football stadium. It was still daylight out, only about quarter after four, even if that. The game started at seven, so the lights haven’t even began to have a surge to them yet. Seeing those lights always gave me the chills because the feeling of playing underneath them has to be one of the biggest adrenaline rushes that I have ever experienced.

I stopped. I stared at the lights as they lay against the blue sky with faded white accents. I closed my eyes and let the warm breeze hit my skin. But awkwardly, my skin got bumpy and a shiver ran down my spine; a cold chill. I knelt down, and opened my eyes. What I saw was not something that I have never seen before, but it made my heart shoot back to the very depths of my chest every time I saw it; a small bronze plaque that said: “Tyler, 1989-2008”.

Grass had started to grow onto the burial site about July, the real first realization to me that he was actually gone. He has been laid to rest long enough for nature to accept it, and start growing roots from the soil that has covered him.

I stared hard at the small plaque, then at all the other things surrounding it: the flowers, the cross, the DVD of the Class of 2008, wristbands, a magnet and a piece of white painted wood with the word “LiveStrong” pasted on it. I stared hard at it, trying to consume it, but I couldn’t because on May 25, I told myself that he will never be gone because love cannot die. Because friendship lasts forever even if the people we share it with cannot stay for that long, and as I stared 3 months later, I still could not come to terms with it.

A tear dripped out of my right eye and it yielded on my cheek half way down. I picked up my shoulder and wiped it away with my jersey. I watched as the heavy cloth soaked in the droplet, and then made it almost untraceable as it slid down into the crevices of the under-mesh.

That was the first time in my 3 years of Varsity football that I felt my jersey held a part of me that could never be erased. The scratches and rips could be mended, but that tear would forever bind me with that jersey.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I did the “Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost” cross with my fingers, kissed them, touched my heart and pointed up to the sky. One more tear slowly fell down my eye onto the ground covering my friend. I looked at it, and realized that the grass wasn’t watered by nature; it didn’t have to be. It’s been watered by tears.

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