The other day, I told E.S. I would do something. I don’t actually remember what it is I told him I would do, but, whatever it was, he didn’t believe me. I promised him. He still didn’t believe me. “I swear on my mother’s grave,” I said.
Then I realized that this oath was utterly meaningless, as my mother, rather than being buried, donated her body to science, specifically to juvenile diabetes research. After giving up to researchers whatever secrets it held, it was cremated. Instead of a funeral, we had a memorial service at the state park that was one of my mother’s favorite haunts.
We did want some sort of physical marker, though, of my mother’s life and death, so we had a gazebo built in the park in her memory. That way, visitors to the park could rest on its very comfortable benches and in its shade, and even in death she could soothe weary souls.
Not wanting to trick E.S., I told him all this. “But the promise still holds,” I said. “I swear on my mother’s gazebo.”