As I walked through that old graveyard, one cold January afternoon,
My eyes scanned hundreds of tombstones that occupied that room.
I went there to find some solace, and reflect upon my life,
To evaluate my living towards my friends, my kids, my wife.
I couldn’t help but think of all the stories buried there,
What is now all peace and quiet was once filled with daily care.
Each tombstone represented a life, some of them even two,
Of people who lived just like you and me, but still died like people do.
I noticed there a gravestone of a soldier in Word War II,
And under his name the words “Purple Heart”, a hero through and through.
I saw a stone with only two dates just a couple of years apart,
This little life came to an end before it barely got to start.
Then I noticed a small stone standing tall, with just a single date inscribed,
The day this gift was given and the only day this little life survived.
On the other hand, I saw a stone with dates 100 years apart,
She lived and died at a ripe old age, one century on the mark.
As I walked in the cold, as I gathered my thoughts, some things began coming to mind,
How that everyone lived, everyone died, and between the two, life, was in-twined.
All were given a chance to make their mark, on a life they would all leave behind,
Some left their mark in a way well remembered, others simply lived and then died.
But one thing’s for sure, they will lay there in death, far longer than they lived in this life,
And their time laid to rest is simply the start of an eternity in peace or in strife.
All the things that they said and the things they did, were etched in much more than just stone,
They’re engraved on the hearts and lives of the ones that they left in their old temporal home.
I imagine there were “I love you’s” that never got said, that went with them to their grave,
Regrets of what they’d have done if they still had the chance, to do or to be or to say.
There are parents buried there who loved their kids, yet never made things right,
There are kids who go there and say to themselves, “If I’d only apologized that night.”
There are many there who wasted their life, not thinking twice of the end,
There are others there who gave it their all, and now death brings joy that begins.
When it’s all said and done, what we’ve done with our life, is more than just actions and words.
It’s moments and memories and life-changes made, outliving our life in the world.
If a graveyard could speak, I think it would say, what you do in this life matters most,
For it not only impacts the ones here and now, it determines the fate of your soul.
A kind act today can go a long way, a smile, an encouraging word,
To a neighbor or friend, to a wife or a kid, in need of someone who’s concerned.
But make sure every day, as you walk through life’s way, you share the great gift God gave,
How He sent us His Son that we could be won, and have Heaven when we face the grave.
For if graveyards could speak to those still on this side, having only one last thing to say…
“Learn from our past, it will soon be your present, consider your soul while you may.”
Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
By Andrew Linder