In 1945 my parents had a little baby boy and they named him Robert Allen Beckman. Robert was born a healthy baby but developed yellow jaundice and died three weeks after birth. My parents were so sad but didn’t have much time to grieve because they had baby Judy to care for. Judy turned one the day after Robert died and life for my parents kept getting busier with the addition of Jean, Jim, Joan, Mick, myself, Deb, Vikke and Mary during the coming years.
About thirteen years ago my parents thought it was important to purchase a gravestone for little Robert. After my parents lovingly placed the stone on Robert’s grave in Hart, Michigan, my dad tearfully told me about what they had done, but for some reason didn’t invite any of us kids to be present which is still a mystery to us all. My parents never really talked much about Robert because it was so emotional, even after sixty years.
Last week my friends Sheila Salisz and Colleen Vander Wier asked me to spend the day with them. They suggested either renting a bicycle for four or taking a trip to Mac Wood’s Dune Rides, both of which sounded fun. Two days before our girl’s day, I woke up at 3:00am thinking about Robert, so in the morning I asked the girls if they minded going on an adventure to find my brother’s grave. They loved the idea.
Just before we left for the cemetery, Mark looked on the Internet and found a picture of Robert’s gravestone, but couldn’t find a map of the Hart Cemetery, so when we arrived we looked up the Sexton right away. He was so nice and knew exactly where Robert was buried.
Sheila and Colleen are so fun and wanted to make this day extra special for me so they brought three lawn chairs, wine, beer, cheese and crackers. We set the chairs up around Robert’s grave and talked for two and half hours about life.
Finding my brother made for a great day, but spending time with great friends made it amazing.