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Marguerite

Posted on August 19, 2009

I first “met” Marguerite when I was seventeen. My friend Ellen and I had skipped school and decided to go to a nearby Catholic cemetery to smoke a joint (after all, it was the ’70′s. ). The oldest section of the cemetery sits up on a hill and contains several graves of old priests and parishioners from our city. We sat on one of the old concrete slabs covering a grave, watching the traffic below, smoking and talking for a few hours. When it was almost time for school to be out, we got up to leave, but we couldn’t find Ellen’s car keys. Anywhere.

We searched for at least an hour. She was getting frantic and I was getting bored, so I walked to the top of the hill and noticed a beautiful monument I’d never seen before. It was built like a gazebo, with a pointed roof topped with a cross. I walked closer, feeling drawn to see who was buried there. On the front of the monument was a single name MARGUERITE, and sitting on the ledge directly above the nameplate, I saw our car keys. Surprisingly, I wasn’t frightened. It made me smile. I felt as though someone had played a trick on me. We hadn’t been anywhere near this grave site, yet here were the keys. On the grave stone below I saw that Marguerite had died at age thirteen. I yelled for my friend, who insisted I had put the keys there to scare her, and we left.

Years later, I was married and had an eight year old son. One spring day, he and I had a picnic up on the hill catty-corner to the gazebo. The poor little cemetery had been visited by teens the night before. Headstones were overturned, litter everywhere, and the cross sitting atop Marguerite’s gazebo had been turned upside down. No doubt this was intended to invoke stark terror in the ones who found it, but I remembered being a kid, and started cleaning up where I could. I looked over to see my sweet son shimmying up the side of the monument to fix the cross. It’s one of my proudest memories of him. Even though I abandoned formal religion after a childhood of Southern Baptist propaganda, he obviously had a good heart. We finished setting up the stones we could lift ate our cold lunch and left.

A couple of years later, my son and went back, along with a newer friend, her daughter and three year old granddaughter. The kid was adorably dressed in a little pink short set and some burger chains’ free heart-shaped glittery pink sunglasses. She was modeling them for us and then carrying them in her left hand. I remember that because I’m left handed, and watch for it in kids. We always started at the bottom of the hill and walked up. About halfway up the hill someone noticed she didn’t have her sunglasses. Four of us were on our knees in the grass, searching when something glinted in the sun further up the hill. I knew it would be the sunglasses, even though none of us had been even close to the top of the hill. It couldn’t have been my son, since we had roped him into holding the little one’s hand and they were in our line of sight the whole time.

The glasses were sitting exactly where my son and I had sat those years before plotting unrealistic revenge tactics for teen vandals. Thanks Marguerite. My friend handled the disclosure well, but it absolutely terrified her twenty something daughter (who had never believed my story), and we had to leave before she cried. The kids didn’t have a problem at all.

I believe this is a child who died decades ago, well loved, and once terribly missed, who just likes to play games and means no harm. Maybe she doesn’t know she’s dead. The place has a comfortable happy air about it. It’s odd but I can’t remember her last name and really don’t care to know it. I haven’t seen her and wouldn’t want to. Feeling her is enough. Not that I’m psychic or anything, but places have feelings. If the feelings around me change next time, maybe I can ask her to go on and tell her it’s okay, and hope it is.

Written by Jayn Cameron, Copyright 2009




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Comments

11 Responses to “Marguerite”
  1. trolldoll1681 says:

    nice story jayn, it was very kind of you and your son to try to clean up her grave site and i know she appreciated it thanks and do try to visit her again she sounded like a nice kid.

  2. crYstaL says:

    uR stOrY iiS kiiNda sCarY bUt qOOd
    u wRE sO niiCe fOr clEaniiN thE qRvE

  3. CuteSagittarius says:

    Well,how nice of u & ur son! U must’ve made her & the other residents of the cemetary hapPy! Fantastic story!

  4. Jamie says:

    That was lovely.

  5. Farah says:

    u were very nice 4 cleanin the GRAVE.

  6. Brandon M. Sergent says:

    Absolutely spectacular. I hope the rest of you will join me in asking for more.

  7. Karen M. says:

    That was sweet, I liked this story!

  8. DWPenner says:

    Hi!
    Thanks for sharing your tale with us. It is always nice to hear first person stories rather than third person or even second person ones. You told it well.
    Darrell

  9. cesar f. says:

    this is a very intresting story thanks 4 sharing. i 2 stumbled upon old confederate graves. they looked like someone knocked dem down so me and my cousin cleaned up what we could. then left. after dat 4 some reason i started havin nightmares about dat place

  10. GnomenKlayture says:

    What an excellent presentation of skill in the art of story telling. Truly I agree with Brandon M. Sergent: Encore! Encore!

  11. Pat says:

    Very interesting.. maybe the child was just reaching out… thanks for sharing

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