I drove out to the cemetery today to see the gravestone that finally was, well, installed. It finally arrived. My mother and I drove slowly over to the section where the grave is located and I knew where it was before we even stopped. It was the glow shimmering off the highly polished brass that was my first clue. And the fact that the vase was turned up without flowers. The only vase turned up without flowers. But as I followed the bright light to the grave, I noticed it is unique. Everyone else has headstones that are MUCH smaller. And less, shall I say, exotic looking.
Note to self: when choosing a headstone, one does not necessarily need to go with the cemetery’s people. Did you know you can have anyone do it and put it in? At least that is what it appears. Most of the other stones are small and nothing but the basic info. Mine looks like a fancy icon or something! I did shed a tear on my first glimpse of it. Then I laughed. Mr. Mark would not have wanted something so ornate. He would have wanted nothing more than a garden stake with his name written on a piece of cardboard.
When the kids and I went down to my uncle’s funeral in Texas last February, we chuckled at the obelisks and cherubs all over that ancient burial grounds. We laughingly thought that we should get life-sized Greco-Roman wrestlers perched on their dad’s grave. It would have fit in with some of the crazy things at that old cemetery.
But I met with the cemetery officials here way back in March to plan this thing. It took forever. I had no idea. My dad got his months before Mr. Mark. But not really knowing anything about how things like this are done, I just went with it.
And this is what we got.
Aquamarine colored brass with shiny brass edges. It catches the sun just right. I feel so, well, like I am the “got rocks” looking at this. It did cost a ton…I didn’t know it could be done any cheaper. I just went along with what they told me to do. I’m sure they saw me coming. Nothing against them – they have a product to sell and a service to provide. For a fee…
So why am I the only one with a headstone like this out there if this is what they sell? I don’t know the answer to that so don’t ask me.
This is the headstone I worked so hard and long to design. I looked for drawings that represented Mr Mark. How do you choose a couple sketches to represent everything about a person you loved? I narrowed it down to a running shoe, OSU, music notes and a cross. There could have been so much more. He was a complex person. Like you or me.
Yes, it brought tears to my eyes. To see my husband’s name there in brass was a sad and defining moment. To see my name in brass…surreal.
And did I mention that it is the brightest and largest headstone in the cemetery?
I wore my anniversary boots, fitting for the occasion. I love the beautiful blue color called aquamarine, which is our birthstone. I chose the verse because it was one he loved. Plus it always reminded him of the song by Michael Martin Murphy called “Harbor for my Soul” I can just hear the stereo pumping out the song at great volume, bass speakers beating away.
I wonder what MMM would think about the Bible verse being connected to his song?
So I never have to visit the cemetery again, really. My job there is finished. I buried my husband. I paid for the headstone. But I will visit. Whenever I want. But will I want to? I just don’t know. He isn’t really there. I don’t feel closer to him when I go there. I don’t talk to him when I go there. I feel closest to him when I sit with my children around the dinner table, praying over our supper and reading the Bible lesson together. I feel closest to him when I find myself singing a song that he loved or when I hear one of his on the radio. I feel closest to him when I move forward. He would have wanted me to keep the family moving ahead. Moving toward a goal of godly character.
Now I get on with living, or get on with dying. I choose to get on with living.