Both my cats adore the new cat bed I bought them. Not that they don't already have access to every soft surface in the house, but both boys love the cavernous-like qualities, and of course, the color perfectly matches Luther's fur.
I picked out a tombstone today. I had no idea how many decisions there are to be made concerning this. There were 3 basic shapes: the large, tall upright, which is the most expensive, the "slant-sided" version, which is still quite nice, but smaller and without the height, so it sits lower to the ground, and the kind that lies flat, face up in the ground, the cheapest at about $1,000.
I know the man would have loved it if I agreed to an etching or carving of one of my mother's art pieces (yes, they digitize it and shrink it to scale, the whole 9 yards) but in the end I decided to just go with the verse I'd written for her, "An artist who captured the beauty in life." It pretty much describes her.
I went for the upright style with the base, but somewhat smaller than full size. Still (gulp) this is costing over $2,000. That's with the light gray granite, quarried right here in New England (Barre, VT). I like the light gray; the other colors, like black or rose, are more expensive.
There is some uncertainty, depending on when my mother passed, about when her remains could be buried, due to this being winter. If there is heavy snowfall, the cemetery superintendent said they shut down; the monument place had said the quarry in Vermont shuts down for winter as well, but he had enough granite in stock that he could work around that. I hope that doesn't happen because I don't think I can begin to rest easy until I know this is behind me. Otherwise, I would have to wait until March or April for burial, which seems like a very long time.
He will email me some images of how it will look and then once I approve it they can get to work on it. It takes about 4 or 5 weeks and all will be done, save for the end date. They can even put the stone in place, without the concrete, below-ground footing, which may not be able to be done now either, again due to the cold weather. But they could put the stone there and then in spring just temporarily move it when they put the footing in, then re-position the stone.
I told the monument guy about how the first place I was shown at the cemetery was surrounded by at least 4 of the children who died in the 12/14 shootings here. And that I ultimately chose that spot because I thought my mother would like to be surrounded by children. The monument guy said I'd be surprised how many other people did the same thing.
He even talked to me about did my mother have a favorite font/typeface I'd like to use, and whether I wanted all caps or upper/lower case, and did I want the rough hewn border around the stone or polished granite look. I was just really surprised there were so many choices to be made.
After that I saw my mother, and fed her lunch. She is eating and drinking, but not anywheres near a full sized portion. I brought her over some fresh berries, dark chocolate and a clementine, and she seemed to enjoy all of it but after a certain point she would eat no more and clenched her teeth.
I also decided to start giving her her Christmas presents now; I would feel awful if something happened between now and Christmas and they were sitting her all wrapped. So I gave her one and got excited to see it.
When I came home, i got a message from another of my mother's cousins and I called her back and we had a good long talk. She's a year older than my mother but mentally she is very clear, though she had 2 hip replacements. She talked a lot about her parents and her grandmother and filled in some family history for me which I find so intriguing. I have a large sepia-colored family portrait of my grandfather's side of the family, and it was the matronly looking woman and her handlebar-mustachioed husband sitting in front of the clan that I always wondered about. They were my cousin's (and mother's) grandparents. When "Mary's" first husband died in a car accident in the 1930s (?) (the man in the photo) she remarried another man who last name is the name of the founder of a CT helicopter company. I'm curious to research this family history at some time and see if there's any connection there.
Sadly, my mother's cousin's father also had Alzheimer's, although he lived to be 90.
I had other errands to do today but I just didn't feel like it. Once it gets dark, I'm done.
December 19th, 2015 at 11:03 pm
December 20th, 2015 at 02:02 am 1450576951
I wonder ... could you have them go ahead and do the engraving of the stone with everything except the date? Then it would be ready to go, even if the place was shut down due to weather. (On my dad's headstone we have his name and dates, and my grandmas name and birthdate - when she dies her final date will be added and her remains buried next to my dads (ashes) )
December 20th, 2015 at 02:54 am 1450580061
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