Went to Rome today to take care of some legal matters that will, I hope, expedite the transfer of the deed on Mom and Dad's house into Cole and Christy's name. It was a relatively short trip--I don't think I was in Rome more than two hours total--but it was one that had to be made.
As I had prepared for the trip, I realized that this was about the time of year when Dad would put up his Christmas tree (when Mom was with us, they would usually wait until Thanksgiving day... but not always!). While I couldn't put up a tree for them, I could at least replace the flowers at the gravesite with some more holiday-themed colors. I took the new flowers out to the cemetery to replace the fall-themed flowers that were there; seeing the grave, still looking raw and fresh because the drought has slowed the growth of covering grasses, was a solemn and sorrowful experience.
Not a day goes by that I don't miss them... but there is something particularly stark about a gravesite and a marker. I tried to find joy in the fall colors--Lavender Mountain looked particularly striking in its golds and reds and rusts--and in knowing how much Mom and Dad would love a day like today, but there was little solace to be found.
I spent the rest of the day in bleakness. I am glad to have taken the flowers out there, but there was no comfort to be found in doing so... just a reminder of the extent of the solitude that I so often feel nowadays.