A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

Published May 29, 2017 by rochellewisoff

For Memorial Day Weekend, Pegman walks through  Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Many thanks to J Hardy Carroll and Karen Rawson for hosting this writing challenge. 

A hearty thank you to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we so richly enjoy. May their memories be blessing. 

So…this is the photo I chose from the Pegman menu. I confess to being a bit of a renegade on this one. My story has nothing to do with Kanchanaburi  or A. Rosenberg. You may recognize the characters in this story if you’ve read any of my books. 😉 However, this piece isn’t in any of them.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

            The rabbi shut his prayer book. “May HaShem grant us strength to see beyond our sorrow and may the name of Sarah Tulschinsky be blessed.”

            Havah gazed at her sister-in-law’s newly unveiled headstone. Had it really been a whole year since the gentle woman who had welcomed Havah to America succumbed to pneumonia? She placed a large pebble on the marker.

            Sarah’s nine-year-old son Jeffrey tugged at Havah’s sleeve. “Auntie, why do we put rocks on graves when Christians put flowers on them?”

            Kneeling, she wrapped her arm around his shoulders. “What happens after you pick a flower?”

            “It turns brown and dies.”

            “Can a rock die?”

            “Huh-uh.”

            “A stone is eternal, like your mama’s soul. The more stones you see on a person’s grave, the more he or she has been remembered.”

            Jeffrey opened his clenched fist and dropped a handful of pebbles. “I will never forget you, Mama.”

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

40 comments on “A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      It is a beautiful tradition. We went to the Jewish cemetery today and left stones on my parents’ headstones. There were some markers buried in stones. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Dale,

      The more I look into this tradition the more I’m touched by the beauty of it. Yesterday is the first time I’ve actually laid stones on my parents’ and grandparents’ graves. It was a moment I won’t forget. Thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know… my father wanted an unmarked grave and his ashes are buried under a tree in his brother-in-law’s backyard on a mountain. I couldn’t even lay a stone if I wanted to. I could on Austin’s however, but they’ll get mowed away in no time…
        In heavy Jewish accent: What are you gonna do?

        Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I like that about the rocks. It’s always so sad to see limp and neglected flowers on a grave. Perhaps I should request that rocks are left on my grave, if I’m denied my wish to have an oak tree planted there.

    All best wishes,
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  • A tale that brings tears to my eyes with memories of such gravestones covered over entirely with stones. My Grandfather taught me to leave a stone a year in remembrance. The last time I was able to find his grave, he was covered with stones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jelli,

      The other day when we visited my parents’ graves, I saw so many that had no stones. I found myself wishing I’d brought more. I’m relatively ‘new’ to the tradition of my people. Next time I’ll go with a quarry. 😉 Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Mi corazon quiere quitarle el dolor de Jeffrey. (ps- my grandsons name 😊)
    Touching when children ask their innocent questions. The response “A soul is eternal” is perfection. We all like to believe that in the hereafter we will be together once again because of our eternal souls.
    Muy buen cuento y como siempre escrito con mucha historia y emoción.
    Abrazos y Shalom,
    Isadora 😎

    Like

    • Querida Isadora,

      I’m pleased that you came by to read. I’m planning to use this short story to explain the reason for the tradition rather than an overblown essay as I’d planned. Jeffrey es nombre de me hermano y un primo también. My family was fond of the name. 😉

      Gracias para tus palabras muy amables.

      Abrazos y Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        In the end, I’m sure you will do what’s best for your book. The short story seems a perfect choice. My 3rd born has 2 children. A daughter 21, Nadia(1st marriage. A son 7, Jeffrey – after the father(3rd marriage) Now, engaged to #4. Where did I go wrong? I’ll be married 52 years this August. Kids ???
        De nada … siempre me encanta leer sus cuentos. Solo se me pasan por el tiempo.
        Abrazos y Shalom,
        Isadora 😎

        Like

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