her headstone

Mom’s permanent headstone is now in place.  I never knew it was possible to love a headstone.  But I do!

I was surprised when she asked to be interned in the small town in Southern Minnesota where her father was born.  I guess I thought she’d go for something romantic.  Ashes scattered across the Bay of Banderas or something like that.  Once again, I was confusing her wishes with my own.

She chose well. In that small town cemetery, they punched out space deep in the dark, rich earth to hold her ashes.  The same earth that her family has farmed for generations. She is buried there, right next to her father.

And now the permanent marker is in place.  I’m not which relative selected this headstone, but it is perfect.  The hearts, the flowers, the photo…  as sweet as the life it represents.

“Permanent marker” may be a misnomer.  It is no more permanent than anything else.  But stone gives the feeling of permanence, doesn’t it?  I can imagine the sensation of my fingers tracing her name, the cool hardness of the headstone.  Her body gone, but her name carved in granite. The image of her beautiful smile preserved. Never to be diminished with the passage of time, or so it seems.

I like having a monument to her life, even if it’s over a thousand miles a way, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see it in person. Even if it’s a bit of an illusion of permanence. And of course she is bigger than a headstone, she still touches everything in my life.  But I also love the carved stone, the smiling face, the marker that says “this wonderful woman lived, and then she died.”

4 thoughts on “her headstone

  1. Kathy

    The stone for your mom is beautiful. My brother is an artist. He made a cross tile for my grandparents’ headstone and an orchid tile for my mom’s headstone (http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/facing-fear/). I have copies of both tiles hanging in my family room. My mom is buried in a family plot, next to her parents and grandparents. I never realized there was a family plot until I lost my grandfather 12 years ago. Even though the cemetary is only 45 minutes from where I live it’s hard for me to visit. My dad’s name is also on the headstone. All that is needed is the date of his death, which I hope and pray is many years from now. I can’t lose him too. I haven’t been to the cemetery in over a year. I may visit on the 4th anniversary of my mom’s death in November. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heart To Harp

    There is something comforting knowing that the names of our loved ones, and the evidence that they occupied times and hearts on this planet, will be seen for years to come.


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