Man holding a Violin.

"I'll be seeing you!"

I missed him. That's why I went. Otherwise I go from day to day just remembering.

Unless you are very young or very fortunate, by now you must have experienced the death of someone you love. As years pass by the pain seems to lessen more and more. But depending how on connected you were to them, there are times when you wish you had one more chance to see them. I went to visit my Dad today. He died in 1998. I needed to speak with him so I traveled out to the cemetery. Oh, I really don't need to do that. But there is comfort in being just a few feet away from where he rests. Besides, my Mom is right next to him.

Even more importantly, if I hadn't gone today, at just the right time, I would never had met Mr. Volpetti.

Usually when I stop by, I get out of the car and pull a few weeds, check the flowers and generally stand and stare out at the incredible view. This plot is located in the country down the road from a state park. Depending on the season, you can see part of the lake if you wander up the hill.

Sometimes I'll just sit in my car and watch as visitors come and go. You can tell which ones have recently lost their loved ones. They stand, kneel and sob their hearts out. They tend to spend more time there fussing around the grave. Others will get out of their cars and sit. Yes, I've even seen some people lay down on top perhaps wondering what it will be like.

Today though, I was all alone. Or at least it appeared that way. There wasn't a car to be found. The church across the street was closed and there were no cars in the lot. The nearest house is at least one half mile or more away. And yet, there he was. I was leaning against my car taking in the sunshine and warm breeze. Suddenly off in the distance I could hear the sound of a violin playing. I thought at first it was from a radio of a passing car. But there were no passing cars. Could there be a party of sorts in the state park camping area? Perhaps the wind has carried the music across the hills.

But then it grew louder. I turned toward the area that I thought the music was coming from. The sun shining now directly in my face, I could see the shadow of a man standing near the top of the hill. As I repositioned my hand over my eyes so as to block the sun, I could hear the sweet sound of a single violin coming from his direction. There he stood, violin resting perfectly under his chin, playing as if he were on a concert stage before a large audience.

Close your eyes and remember a moment when you heard a classical piece that touched you in the depths of your soul. Your head and body sways with each pull of the bow like the ebb and flow of the ocean. Nothing can break this passionate connection between you and the maestro.

Mesmerized for the moment, I didn't stop to think how unusual this really is. Of course why would I of all people? Once or twice a year I venture out along side of my Dad's grave, open the passenger side door and pop in my CD and belt out "Oh, Danny Boy" as I stand upon his grave. I normally don't wait for all the visitors to leave. I've never had anyone complain. Perhaps hey enjoyed the moment as much as I was enjoying this one.

The old man was about 5'7". He wore a well worn sport coat and cap that, in my opinion was a little too much for such a warm day. He walked slowly down the hill directly toward where I was standing. As he got closer I could see his long white hair that hung over his collar. He had a perfectly trimmed mustache not nearly as white as his hair. It was slightly yellowed near the center, giving me the impression he smoked a cigar. His white shirt was a little tattered and his tie bore the remains of a few good meals or fallen ashes.

He walked up to where I was standing and never skipped a beat. Now, standing next to him, the music drew me in even more. Neither one of us said a word. In fact I don't even remember nodding my head or smiling with approval. I was captivated and suspended in time.

He continued walking straight across the entire length of the cemetery. Then turning to his right proceeded up along the edge of the road. When he reached a mid point of the circle he was walking, he then cut across the field and down the middle to the far end. There he stopped for a moment, knelt down on one knee and bowed his head.

The concert was over.

I needed desperately to meet this man. I headed toward where he was kneeling and as I approached him from behind I could hear him say, "Oh, my darling I miss you so much. My music is all that I have. But my life without you is like a violin without strings. It has no purpose any more."

I suddenly realized that I had no right to be standing so close as he privately spoke to the love of his life. I started to walk away when he said, "This is my wife, Nora. She left me here all alone ten years ago to the day. I am a man without purpose. This is where I belong. This stone bears my name "George" and this empty spot for the year I am to die. Already it is wrong. Even the stone mason thought I should be dead by now. It starts "19__" I never wanted to see 2000 without my Nora."

"Mr. Volpetti, I assume that's your name. I'm Bob. What a beautiful name, Nora. I only knew one other with that name. My Grandmother. She is buried up there on the hill." I said. He stood and turned toward me. The streams of tears that he had shed glistened in the sunlight even with his feeble attempt to wipe his face on his sleeve.

"You must think I am a fool playing my violin in the cemetery. Who is here to listen?" he said with a soft smile.

"I sing to my Dad at least once a year," I told him. "Then we are both fools."

"Where is your Father buried?" he asked.

"Right up there near my car," I replied.

"What song do you sing?" he asked.

"Oh, Danny Boy" I told him.

"My favorite. Come... I sing."

We walked to the foot of my Father's grave and in a moment I shall never forget, I sang with one of the finest violinist I have ever heard.

As the sun set gracefully over the hill top, beams of bright orange mixed with purples and yellow filled the sky. As if orchestrated by the Great Maestro, it was a perfect ending in a concert of two lonely men. We shook hands and he headed up the hill into the sunset. When he reached the top he turned and played the one song that tears my heart out every time.

"I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places, that this heart of my embraces all day through..."

I knelt down and cried. For that was the song I played on my radio program as a salute to my Pop back in 1998.

"I believe in You!"
~ Bob Perks ~
[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2009 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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