Saturday, 15 February 2014

here's a sad story that I don't feel sad about anymore

When I was in Alberta over Christmas visiting my family I began to get a bit ansty. See, in my normal everyday life I have to walk 2-5km every day just to get to the bus and home and work and run errands, etc. So these legs are used to walking.

The opportunities for long walks are very limited in a winter climate that averages in the -20s  (that's celsius, or -4 fahrenheit), you know, cold enough to lose a toe. But one of the days I was there the weather was pretty okay, I was dressed warm and was feeling like I needed to either exercise or throw a tantrum like a huge baby.

My mom, and some of my brothers and I were downtown doing some shopping and I said I might just walk home instead of driving with them. They looked at me like I had two heads because it is kind of far. Not to me because I'm so used to walking long distances but it is a couple kilometers. And honestly the town is not built for winter walking. The sidewalks are covered in five feet of snow from when the roads are plowed and everybody (and their mom) drives a gigantic truck.

This was my sister's truck in 2011.

So I convinced them that I'd be fine and they drove away shaking their heads. I started walking.

Soon I came to a kind of fork in the road and stopped. If I turned right and I'd be on my way back to my mom's house. Or I could go straight ahead for an extra half an hour across the train tracks and find the graveyard where my brother was buried.

After he died I had to leave and come back to Victoria before his official funeral/burial day so I hadn't had a chance to get that last bit of closure. And it was a nice day out so I thought "yeah, I want to go there."

I walked down the silent back country road. No cars passed me, but one little girl did stare at me out the window of her house. I passed fields and hay bales and curious cows.

As soon as I got to the graveyard my heart sank. What was I thinking?

The place, well I won't say it's huge but I mean, the town's been there for like a hundred years, so there's that amount of buried people. And I had absolutely no idea where to look for Jaden's grave. And, duh, everything was covered in snow. I mean covered. So there was no way for me to even look properly. I was so frustrated with myself for not asking somebody to take me out there or draw me a map or something.

As you can see, I had my camera with me and I decided to take photos around the graveyard anyway, because it did look rather pretty incongruous with fresh flowers in the snow. Do these photos hurt your eyes? They hurt mine too but that's the way it looked, I didn't edit them much at all. Snow does weird things to the light.

And so I walked around, snapping pictures and crying in frustration, obviously not finding what I was looking for because how could I? I probably searched for half an hour, walking back and forth and around and around through the snow in my improper footwear. I didn't even know if he had one of those upright headstones or a flat one to the ground. And finally I said out loud "I'll come back." and I reluctantly left and walked back to the house. I had plenty of time for my tears to freeze and chip off.

So it sounds sad pathetic but like they say, tragedy + time = comedy. I don't necessarily find it hilarious but it's definitely one of those things where I kind of shake my head at myself, like, "you idiot".

And just because these graveyard pictures make it look like I was exaggerating the amount of snow on the sidewalks here are a couple I took on my way back to the house.

So thus concludes another episode of "I am an idiot".

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