For nearly a decade, whenever I return to my hometown I visit Walmart my first or second day back to buy a bouquet of fake flowers. It’s always the same. Go to Walmart, hoping not to run into anyone I know from high school. Pick out season-appropriate flowers that don’t look too fake. Drive out of town to the rural area where I grew up, trying not to get lost in the memories each mile exhumes. Turn right off the main highway into the cemetery. Drive the small road that circles the graves until the car faces the church in which I grew up. Park. Grab my fake flowers; exit the car. Walk slowly, reverently, to my parents’ headstone. Stoop to replace the old flowers I left last time I was home (probably too long ago)...

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