It was mid-morning on a lovely, surprisingly sunny, Autumn day, and my husband John and I were busying ourselves at my mother's grave. Well, John at least was busying himself with mum's grave, pulling out the weeds, putting fresh flowers in her special gold metallic vase, wiping away any grime and moss from the stone framework of her grave and tombstone, and anything else that can be done to keep mum's grave looking clean, neat and fresh-looking. That is part of John's charm; an obsessive compulsive clean and neat freak! I can't complain however because it leaves me free to wander the old graveyard, which actually blends into the lovely country-side. Well, lovely and pretty in the Spring-time, a little on the faded side in Autumn. Nevertheless, I still find it quite a breath-taking piece of country-side with its clean crisp air, centuries-old majestic trees and its distinctive flora. In my wanderings, I will stop every so often to read the epitaphs of the older graves, especially those that date back to the last century, with their ornate tombstones and lovely wordings. As with graveyards, you might perhaps see two or three people about maybe, unless there happen to be a funeral going on, but it is otherwise deserted, and John and I normally have the place to ourselves, so to speak. We at least make it a point before we leave to seek out the grounds-keeper on these trips, which is usually once a month, to have a chat with him and thank and commend him for his good work of maintaining the place very well. Indeed, it is so peaceful and pretty a graveyard, with its well-kept lawn, flowering bushes and huge shady trees, it feels more like being in a garden or a park, except for the tombstones sticking out of the ground. I had just looked up from reading an epitaph and was idly looking around when I caught sight of a man at the far end of the graveyard. He was standing in front of a grave with his head bowed and his hands clasped in front of him as if in prayer. I looked at him for a while and then looked around to see if there was anybody else around. It was deserted as usual, but I could see John a little further along from me to my right still working away at mum's grave. I looked back at this man. He was still seemingly praying. He was too far away for me to see his face clearly. I don't know why I continued to look at him. There was something about him that I could not quite put my finger on at the moment ... something that ... Then John called out to me ... and I knew what it was ...
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