>> Friday, January 16, 2009
Alberta's grandmother scowled as she did at everything that did not meet her approval. Alberta only stood quietly beside her.
"Like they're so much better than our family. So much better than my daughter that they have to get this huge tombstone that's larger than two plain ones for someone who's smaller than all the rest."
Alberta wisely said not a word, not even rolling her eyes as any normal teen would do. She would never dare.
Her grandmother became quiet and stared off into the distance. During the silence, Alberta respectfully prayed for her family, as she always did, and for this new addition to the cemetery. It was always going to be sad to see a new resident at the cemetery.
Alberta was young, but she had known more pain than any one person should know in such a short time. It was a lifetime's worth of pain that resulted in the loss of her mother, her father, and her brother, who had been older than her at the time. Now she was older than he had been when he had died.
Her pain was a part of her. It wound and twisted through her shaping her reactions and responses. She was a different person than she could have been. Now she was meant to take over the cemetery when her Grandmother passed away. Something her Grandmother was certain would be coming soon.
Her Grandmother glanced at her, allowing her another moment to her own thoughts. So it was often between the two who had both suffered. Without a word, they went to visit the grave stones at the back of the cemetery.
A small goup of people arrived and stood around the grave bowing their heads. Alberta stood behind a tree, watching them deal with their grief. It was clear who the father was. He was crying, and another man put his arms over his shoulders. Alberta was not certain which woman was the mother, but she guessed that it was the woman standing alone, chatting with the couple before her. She did not appear to be crying, though Alberta had to admit it was difficult to tell from such a distance.
She wished she could offer her help to them. Even her condolences would be kinder than simply standing back and watching them suffer. But her grandmother had strict rules about bothering those visiting their loved ones, especially when those visiting were from on The Hill. She was only to remain in the background, never speaking or disturbing anyone.
Her grandmother meant it for the best. "We're hardly higher than the Service NPCs," she had told Alberta just before they headed over to the cemetery. "Never forget that."