An elderly man with no connection to the deceased visited this fallen soldier's grave daily. The question is, why? His reason may surprise you.
Rachel and her husband Raymond Villasenor were devastated when they lost their 35-year-old son Joseph Anthony Villasenor.
Joseph had served his country for 16 years as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He died in August 2010 in a car crash.
[Left] The Garden Park Cemetery; [Right] Jake Reissig watering the grass around his late wife’s headstone. | Source: facebook.com/roger.reissig
REMINISCING AND GOODBYES
"He was a good kid; he loved children, he was really caring with other people."
On August 16, 2010, Joseph's funeral was held, and the family buried him in a grave in the Garden Park Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.
A LOVE THAT NEVER DIES
An older man, Jake Reissig, was familiar with this graveyard. He would visit his late wife there every day, twice a day.
The widower would bring her flowers and water the grass around the headstone to keep the grass green. The beautiful grave stood out among the rest, covered in greenery, flowers and looking vibrant.
The pair had been married for just over six decades when she passed away in May 2014. In 2015, the then-86-year-old man opened up about his grief:
"She has been gone a year and three months, and I still miss her."
While amid his usual routine, he noticed a woman was crying over a nearby grave. He couldn't help but ask the woman what she was sobbing about.
A HEART-TO-HEART WITH A STRANGER
While he had no idea how to comfort her, Jake had a different plan of how he could help the late soldier and his grieving family.
A PICTURESQUE PUZZLE
Meanwhile, the Villasenor family faced a beautiful mystery as the grass around their son's grave began to turn greener with every visit. Rachel Villasenor said:
"We noticed his plot was kind of moist, and we were thinking maybe it's the dew, but looking around, Joe's was the only one that had dew on it, and I thought this can't be right."
With no hint as to who was doing this, Joseph's mom chose to believe it was an angel. But, this heavenly deity was much closer to earth than she could have ever imagined.
But, they did not know about their daughter's interaction with the elderly man. Eventually, however, they found out that he had been watering the area around their son's headstone every day.
THE REASON BEHIND IT ALL
The grieving mother was in disbelief that someone would do this for another person they barely knew. But he had his reasons, as Jake's son Roger Reissig explained in a Facebook post:
"He said it is the least he can do for him after all that he [Joseph] sacrificed for us."
Graves and headstones are symbols of those who have passed away. They are worthy of respect in that they, in a sense, keep those who have died alive.
Beyond Jake's clear compassion, he understands and beautifully enacts his appreciation for these representations of those we did and continue to love deeply.
A FRUSTRATING RIDDLE
Many people, such as Jake and the late Sargeant's family, enjoy visiting their passed love's graves as it feels like a type of interaction with them.
In one case, a person was leaving many letters and gifts on a man's grave, but no one could figure out who it was.
This gravestone, the anonymous man was visiting, belonged to Karl Smith. He drowned as a child while on a Scout's trip. His sister Ann Kear tried everything to find out who the unknown man was.
Eventually, a reporter helped her. After much digging, they found out that this individual was Ronald Westborough – a friend of Smith who was on the trip with him.
They thought they had worked out the puzzle, but it turned out that Westborough wasn't the only anonymous person leaving trinkets behind. Flowers and poems kept appearing out of nowhere.
As last reported, this other person or people still haven't been found. But, whoever they are, like Jake and Westborough, they value keeping alive the spirit of those who are no longer with us.
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