A friend mentioned to me at the weekend that he had accompanied his mother on a quest for her grandparents' grave. I suspect that that was what prompted me to visit the graves of my both sets of grandparents this pm. The two graves are in the same cemetery, not much more than sixty yards apart.
It is hard not to be melancholy when you stand amidst the serried ranks of tombstones, cold tablets of granite and marble. Thoughts leaf through the decades, uncovering half forgotten memories. The grandfathers died first, 1964 and 1965; then my maternal grandmother in 1968 and finally my dad's mother in 1977. I can still see them and hear their voices. I can even smell the tobacco from the pipe that my paternal grandfather habitually had clamped in the corner of his mouth. The ripples of memory circle out and lap against the shore of the present.