My Parents’ New Headstone

My parents died about 20 years ago—and I still miss them every single day. I recently replaced their headstone with a new, improved, and more beautiful one.

What information is usually engraved on a gravestone? The deceased’s name(s); where they were born; and when they died. Sometimes there is a mention of the names of their children. Sometimes there is an image of something the person liked. Sometimes there’s an epitaph of some sort. Some of the epitaphs are even funny, such as “I told you I was sick.” Please look at the photo of my parents’ new gravestone. It shows front and back. The front displays their names, birth and death dates, marriage date, picture, an image of a rose, and names of their sons—Richard and Roger. The back side of the headstone is unusual. I have never seen a gravestone that listed the names of the deceased’s grandchildren. But that is what I decided to do on my parents’ new stone. I did it because of the importance my parents placed on their role as grandparents. They were good grandparents. Well, that’s not strong enough, they were GREAT grandparents! They had a profound influence for good in the lives of their grandchildren. Their grandchildren knew without any doubt that their grandparents loved and accepted them unconditionally. They were good examples to their grandchildren in the way they lived. They gave wise counsel without usurping the role of the parents to correct and discipline the children. They gave their grandchildren many modest gifts, consistent with their modest means (but it wasn’t the cost of the gift; it was the thought of the gift). Every one of their grandchildren’s eyes lit up when they saw their Nanna and Papa! And so, that’s why one side of their headstone is dedicated to their role as Nanna and Papa.

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