|Gravestones in Eyüp, below Pierre Loti|
|Damn you, metrobus!|
Given recent events, I've gotten all sensitive to trees. Between Zincirlikuyu and the airport, the only places with trees are cemeteries. Probably most of the so-called green areas left in Istanbul are cemeteries. I'd like to think this means these places are forever protected, but the road running through the middle of the old cemetery in Sarıyer says differently. It's a useful little road, but still.
BE's parents still hadn't made their Bayram cemetery visit. So as soon as LE back-arch bawled about the metrobus, they offered to take us with them and drop us off closer to home. Both of us went "Yay!" because we love going to the cemetery.
I've written about this cemetery before, but it was a long time ago. It's the one where Menderes and Özal are buried, only now when anyone says Özal, they mutter "zehirlendi." On this trip, MIL was insisting LE had never been to the cemetery before and I was pretty sure he had, though he was pretty little. Ha! The Internet says I'm right. We balanced along the edges of the graves to where BE's grandparents are buried. MIL talked about how much more crowded the cemetery has gotten over the years, how there used to be paths to the grave they wanted. LE kept stopping me to read the inscriptions for him. He wondered where all the zombies were.
At the grave, FIL gave LE the half-full bottle of water he'd brought to pour into the little cups at the head end. "It's for the birds," he said. Then he and MIL had a short kerfuffle over whether or not the grave needed cleaning off. Then they said their prayer, hands close to the chest and open to the sky the way Muslims do, ending with a washing motion over their faces. I tried to keep LE quiet, something he's not wont to be. I showed him the grave BE had shown me the last time we were there, where the bones were coming up. Later on, LE said the bones were the only thing about the cemetery he'd found interesting.
On the way out, MIL showed me the three brothers' graves I wrote about in 2010, a few months before the divorce, where one gravestone describes a brother's military honors, another has the man's academic and professional honors, and the third says, "Best Husband and Father in the World." The third is MIL's favorite too. LE asked her what the others said and she carefully sounded her way through them because she doesn't read all that great. She's lucky enough that her father sent her to school through about 4th grade, in a time when no one even bothered to record the date and year of her birth.
My favorite way of flummoxing her these days is by doing and saying stuff to let her know I think she matters. It seems to be working out all right.
For the last few nights, the honking and guns going off on the main road says it's conscription time, when the guys go to be soldiers for awhile.
Given all that's going around here these days, I wonder if there is going to be enough room to bury all the dead?