Monday, July 12, 2010

GRAVE DECISIONS

My husband and I are almost twenty years apart in age. Mortality has a way of creeping up on you, when you least expect it. So, a year ago… after several of our friends passed on… my spouse and I started to take stock of what is really important. That included what happens to us after we die. Feeling a sense of urgency to get our ducks in a row… we headed down to the local cemetery, looking for a nice spot. We found it on a hill, corner lot, with a tree. Every now and then, we buy a malt, then go and sit beside our newly acquired real estate, and thank god, we don’t need it yet. But there is peace of mind, knowing it’s there, just in case we do. Lately though, it’s been looking kind of barren there. So we decided, it’s time, to add a stone. Usually, this task is performed by a spouse or loved one at a solemn time and can be quite stressful. We opted to make the experience more upbeat by doing it now, in honor of our 30th anniversary. Finding a ‘contemporary’ piece was our top priority. Not an easy task, in this traditional town, where the norm is pretty standard and boring. But with a little searching, we found a company nearby that was selling something that fit the bill. The stone we picked is rectangular with rounded beveled edges. It suits our taste. Sort of looks like a flat screen TV on a pedestal. After viewing it online… we drove out to the monument place, to see it in person. Once there, it became quite an ordeal. A million different things to consider, when buying a stone. Unfortunately, this piece wasn’t in stock locally. Vermont had nothing like it. So it had to be shipped directly from India, if we still wanted it. We did. But… we now had our choice of six colors. Which one? We hotly debated between... red, black, or gray marble, but ultimately chose the color brown. We wanted  a simple, solid background. No pictures of ourselves or our favorite things. The standard, last name, at the top... on the front and back. Just our wedding anniversary date, with entwined rings, engraved in the middle of it. Plus my hubby and I each wanted TWO, eight word epitaphs added. One on his side, and a different one on mine. Also included on my side would be my maiden name. I want folks reading the stone to know where I came from before I got married. The lady who waited on us was very helpful in putting this all together. The radio in her office had on the John Tesh afternoon show, playing quietly in the background… and he just happened to play, “STAYING ALIVE”, by the BEE GEES, as we filled out the paperwork. We took this as a positive sign. Both of us were grinning... ear to ear, when we heard it. We'll always have that moment to remember. Great story to tell our friends and family. Meanwhile, the Monument Company is going to make a mock-up of the completed tombstone on paper, to show us how it will ultimately look. We’ll get to approve it or make changes in the next couple of weeks. Once that’s done… the whole process, including shipping, engraving and installation at the cemetery will take three months. We put a down payment on it, to get the ball rolling and the rest of the money is due in October, when it's finished. It set us back quite a bit of money. So much so… we could have had a hell of a nice vacation. But when you’re planning for ETERNITY… the SKY'S the LIMIT.

3 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad you did something that brings you peace of mind.

Lori said...

Wow! I think that is wonderful. I like that you even visit the spot once in a while. And I think you gave yourselves (and your family) a very anniversary present.

Nelle said...

That was great. Loved that entry. MY former husband was twenty years older than I and had two graves by his parents which is where I planned to go (until ten years ago when we divorced.) My parents own a lot of graves locally and promised myself and my second husband each a grave. We know we want a Celtic cross but haven't finalized it. He is a few years young than I. I do love what you are having put on yours, the anniversary date and entwined bands is so romantic. I hope I can see a picture of it when it's done.