When originally setting up this piece, I never met anyone who had a relative buried in this section. This past week, when re-setting up after the vandalism, a woman parked at the edge of the field. She came out of her well-polished, and clean Suburban looking car slowly and held the Cryptic Providence map tightly in her hand. She was a well-dressed African American woman, looked like she was on a lunch break, maybe at the cemetary to appreciate some art and solitude.
I greeted her and asked if she was there to view the art and she replied that she was trying to find her baby's grave. She was off from work and said she wished her day off matched when the grounds manager was there. She could not remember which numbered grave was her baby's. She pointed to the middle section and said she thought it was there. That was about where she remembered standing in the rain, 20 years ago.
We spoke for a while about her life, then and now. She said she had her baby girl young and she died an infant. Betty was 18 when this happened, but now she owned her own home and had two teenagers. She was here to see if she get her baby girl out of the field, to re-bury her properly now that she had the money to do it. Betty wanted her children to know(and it sounded like one son in particular) that suffering can happen, to be mindful of the world and what it has to offer. I said I was sorry for her loss, but very glad to meet her, and left her to go and have some privacy.
I am glad me met as it re-affirms to me when making this piece that a person's life can change drastically from bad to good, good to bad...to be mindful of my days. These numbered graves have a life attached, however brief, and a mother who probably hoped for the best.