When I visited my hometown of Lebanon, Indiana in June, I took a trip to Raymond’s memorial site in Fayette, Indiana. As my sister Janie and I approached the memory stone, I was struck by the beautiful flowers that had obviously been placed there recently. “Raymond’s family must have just been here,” I remarked to Janie. My sister and I completed our visit to the cemetery, and I continued on with the rest of my visit in Lebanon. I had a great time catching up with Mark’s parents and my family, including a special visit with my son and grandson. I also visited two book clubs, one at a church in Clermont, Indiana, and another at the Indianapolis Public Library branch on Post Road.
It was a productive, fun visit. At the book clubs, I met some very nice people and had interesting conversations about various people and places mentioned in my book, When You Come Home. Throughout the remainder of my visit, it frequently flashed through my mind how nice it was that Raymond’s brother or sister had laid flowers by his stone shortly before the time that I visited the cemetery.
I returned home and life continued as normal. And I never really gave those flowers another thought … until a month later when I received an email from Mrs. Marlene Mendonsa of St. John, Indiana. An avid World War II history buff, Mrs. Mendonsa had just finished reading my book and was enthralled with my mother’s story. In fact, she was so intrigued that she decided to visit Raymond’s memorial site in Fayette and told me that she is the person who placed those flowers at Raymond’s grave!
Mrs. Mendosa went on to explain to me that she was planning a trip to France, and would be visiting Raymond’s actual grave site in The American Cemetery in Epinal. She had already contacted the supervisor of the cemetery and told them about my mother and Raymond’s story. How amazing to know that someone was going to complete my mother’s story by taking a trip to Raymond’s grave – a trip that Mom had never been able to make. Pictures and information from her trip will be on my blog over the next few weeks.