San Antonio, Texas
It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in September 2003.
Just two months before we lost my mother-in-law, Betty, to cancer. The Texican and I had given up everything to move to Texas to take care of her in her final days, not wanting her to be placed in a nursing home. Since I had been her primary care-giver, I had slipped into a funk, a real depression, and my dear Texican was doing everything he could to lift me out of it.
"Let me take you someplace special!" he'd said. And I got in the car with him, and we drove into town.
He parked on a side street, under some beautiful old trees, and next to a high front wall. So, I did not see the huge building the wall hid.
We walked through an archway, and there she sat. That so familiar building!
I'd seen her of course in movies, and in pictures, but never thought I'd get to see her like this.
Bathed in the afternoon sunlight, she is a site to behold! [My single snapshot here isn't much!]
We walked around the gardens surrounding the building.
I was simply in awe!
Here's a view from Microsoft Virtual Earth
As you can see, the grounds are pretty extensive!
Only a handful of individuals are allowed to enter at one time. So we joined the line of the next individuals to enter. [There is no admission fee, it is free to view.]
A State Park attendant waited at the door.
In front of us, also waiting in line, were several teens. They were cutting up, being loud, obnoxious, and dropping the "F" word like it was candy.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!" the attendant spoke loud enough for all of us to hear, but did not raise his voice above the norm.
"May I remind you to be reverent as you enter here! Inside these walls 189 men gave their lives in defense of this mission! And if you do not remember that, please remember that this is still a church! Be reverent for that sake!"
"Hey, man, you just need to chill!" said one of the teen girls in front of us.
[Have you ever wanted to smack someone upside the head before? You'll understand how I felt then!]
The group did quieten however, and were silent as we were allowed to enter.
It's not a very large building. But there is a hallowed quiet that, dare I say, forces you to be reverent?
If ever you could feel the spirits of individuals who have gone before you, this is the place.
If you can walk away from here, and not feel your heart tugged upon, I don't understand why not!
Somehow, as we left the tour and got back in our car for the drive back to our little home in Pleasanton, I felt a peace upon me like I hadn't felt in several months.
Sometimes, it simply takes a trip among the dead, to bring us back among the living.