By Danica Winters
A solitary snowflake landed on the pine wreath in Lee Llewellyn’s hands. Its lacy white edges curled around the warm boughs like melting fingers, dripping down the pin-point needles and falling unceremoniously to the frozen grass of the cemetery.
The grass crunched under her feet as she made her way to the familiar marble headstone with the bird inscribed in the black-inked stone. Last week’s roses lay at the base, their heads drooping in icy lamentation. The aged, brittle roses reminded her of the way she always seemed to feel—frozen in time, waiting for someone to pluck her from her stupor, only to be replaced.
Today the flowers would stay. Lee couldn’t bring herself to destroy their despondent beauty. They could stay one more week. Daniel wouldn’t mind—or at least, she hoped his spirit wouldn’t. In truth, he’d never been one for flowers anyway. If anything, the flowers were more for her, like the wreath in her hands. Curling the velvety red ribbon so it sat perfectly at the center, she laid the circular wreath next to the roses, careful to leave her son’s name legible.
She read each word as she had done a thousand times before. Daniel Edward Llewellyn. Born May 10th, 1990. Died December 23, 2010.
The tear trickled down Lee’s cheek, unchecked by time or self-control. She couldn’t imagine a time when the deep pain of those words would leave her unaffected. Yes, they were only words, little letters etched into stone, but they signified so much pain and so many memories. They meant everything to her, just like Daniel.