This week also marked the receipt of boxes containing my mom's last treasured possessions, such as a family sampler from the 1800's, and many family photographs. In them you could see the deep love she had for her brother, parents, family dogs, children and grandchildren. You could also see her yearning for knowledge of her place in the world - many pictures were from her own childhood. I'm not sure she ever knew; it was part of her life's journey. It makes me wonder about my own children, and my siblings, and myself - do any of us know? Will anyone hear our voices beyond the grave?
For mom's marker, I chose to add the line "Beloved daughter and mother", because more than anything else I think that defined her life. Although she loved her brother, they weren't close; and I think her personal daemons would not really allow her to have a soul mate. Much of her life hinged on hoping and searching for signs that her father loved her, and making sure that her own children did not wonder whether she loved them. I hope when people see the marker they will see that.