May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground
Lyrics from Carry On, by fun
Yes, that was the song playing on the satellite radio as we pulled into the cemetery late Saturday afternoon to pay a visit at the final resting place for Jerry Gross, my father-in-law, Debbie’s Dad.
Jerry lost a battle with esophageal cancer back in 2009. From diagnosis to his last breath, it took just about six months, and he passed on about a month shy of his 65th birthday. It was cruel and untimely, a life full of love and laughter gone in what seemed like an instant. Yet, we carry on.
Saturday was 3-3/4 years to the day since Jerry moved on, but that wasn’t the reason we were there. No, it was simply to say “hello”, to honor his memory, at Debbie’s request, she wanted to visit her Dad’s grave site to feel his presence again, we do that from time to time. Jerry is never far from our thoughts, or our hearts and sometimes it helps to pay a visit to know he is still witness to all the grand events, and even the smallest of moments we are experiencing in our lives.
I don’t believe a little girl, which is what Debbie and her sister Alisa will forever be to Jerry, ever truly gets past the loss of her Dad. If it all goes right, he’s the first man a girl ever loves and that love creates a lasting imprint on her heart. I only hope the same for my own two girls and I. I want only to be one of their life’s greatest gifts.
The gift we left Jerry this weekend, was to place a rock on his headstone. In the Jewish religion it is a symbolic act that indicates someone has come to visit and the deceased has not been forgotten. A life that gives is never forgotten, and you never get over it, you just get on with it. Carry on.
You keep moving forward because that is what you do in life. You take the love someone has transferred to your heart and you run with it, and keep spreading it around, so other lives will be so enriched. To share, to love, to laugh. It’s a pretty simple concept, but life likes to throw obstacles in your path as you try and share the message. The goal…find a way to overcome and keep moving forward. Carry on.
That we do, with purpose, and we share the legacy of a man who loved life, his family and others, as much as anyone could.
As we drove away from the cemetery the radio was back on, this time the song was Hello, a classic from Lionel Ritchie, fittingly, for it described what Jerry gave back to the world he graced with his presence:
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You’re all I ever wanted
And my arms are open wide
’cause you know just what to say
and you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much
I love you
We love you too JG. Carry on.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.