A tombstone can only hold so much. It cannot tell your story or show pictures of your family. It does not show your bank account or your list of accomplishments. It is sixty characters, spaces included.
My grammee's ashes are being buried of Friday and my Aunt asked me to help her come up with these sixty small characters to embody the life of my beloved grandmother.
I thought back to when my brother and I went through my grandmother's things. We found all sorts of stuff that lead to much laughter and some tears. Jeremy opened one drawer to find about 500 of those little sample perfume papers. We erupted in laughter talking about Gramma's obsession with perfume, especially Elizabeth Taylor. Today, someone told me that Elizabeth Taylor died at the age of 79. I was reading a little excerpt of her life and was shocked to hear that she'd been married 8 times (Though, to her credit, she was married to the same man twice... so I guess that would only mean 7 husbands!) She'd also been in tons of movies, received an Academy Award and, of course had her own line of perfume. As I pondered those 60 characters and what Elizabeth Taylor's tombstone might read, I realized after death, it matters very little WHO you were and more WHOSE you were.
My grammee had a little plaque that she loved. She had it with her when she went into the hospital and my grandfather wanted to make sure that it came back to the house after she had gone. It said: The Lord is my Shepherd. My grammee belonged to Jesus. She gave until she had nothing left, she loved until her dying breath, she served and was broken for those in need.
A tombstone can only hold so much, but I believe these sixty characters give tribute to a woman who changed the world because she changed us. She loved us deeply and followed the Lord passionately.
Beloved wife, mother and grammee
"The Lord is my Shepherd"