I spent this past weekend in Sydney – my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first child into the world at 2.00am on Saturday morning, so my parents and I were on the first flight up there on Saturday morning to meet young Laurence and worship at his cradle (*cough, hospital crib, cough*). Also, I felt it was important that he meet his favourite aunt as soon as possible.
Needless to say, Laurence is beautiful and very advanced for his age (when I saw him just before flying home he was all of 36 hours old). I can only conclude that this is because he takes after his favourite aunt.
As I walked with my parents to our hotel from the hospital before heading back to the airport, my mother insisted that we take a short prowl around an overgrown cemetery located (somewhat strangely) next door to the hospital. She’s just like that. As it turned out, it was a really interesting place with a lot of really old graves and flowers growing wild amongst the plots. I pulled out my camera and started shooting while trying to be respectful of the graves at the same time.
I looked up to realise that my parents had disappeared into the wilderness while I had been snapping away. I hurried to find them, as I knew that our taxi to the airport was arriving at the hotel shortly. When I eventually located them, my mother pointed to a small, grey headstone which simply said:
Aged 10 years
She had died in 1878, nearly 135 years ago. Such a simple epitaph for a such a short life, and yet it conveyed everything that it needed to. Tears came to my eyes.
A weekend of encapsulating the cycle of life – birth and death, Laurence and Little Kitty. May all the children in our worlds live long and happy lives, if only because Little Kitty never got the chance to do so.