Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Lula Sue Simmons Powell

FEB. 13, 1941
NOV. 14, 2007

This headstone marks the grave where my dear Mother rests.  It is located in Woodlawn Cemetery, Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi.  

A couple of years before Mom passed away, she occasionally brought up the topic of grave markers in her conversation.  It was a subject which I hesitated to indulge in, certainly because I didn't want to even think about her death, let alone talk about.  She said she wanted her grave marker to depict something she treasured here on earth- her many trips to the mountains of Tennessee, Colorado and Canada, as well as other regions.  Mom was an avid traveler until she became too ill to take trips.  She would talk about her "cabin in the sky" and that her death would begin a new journey to even more beautiful places. She told me she wanted these words on her grave marker, "At the end of the road, my new journey begins...".  

Upon Mom's request, my sister and I took her "tomb stone" shopping one day. She wanted us to grasp some ideas of a design for her grave marker.  That whole experience was eerie to me but I went along out of respect for my Mother.  We went to two or three monument companies and shopped around, got ideas and quotes on the price of design and installation for a few grave markers.  Mom seemed satisfied for a while after our shopping trip.  

After Mom's death, my siblings and I agreed to respect her wishes.  I decided upon a monument company which allowed me to custom design her grave marker using images on their computer.  The design was then sent to an artist in Georgia who "etched" the image into her head stone, a tedious process requiring time.  In all, it took six months from the time Mom's grave marker was ordered to the time it was installed upon her grave.  

I can not describe the overwhelming emotions I felt when I first laid eyes upon her grave marker.  Seeing her name for the first time on a head stone made her death even more of a reality.  In silence, I stood there a few moments and allowed myself to feel the sadness of her death.  Then I studied the details of her grave marker.  I cried.  I cried because I felt sad for her passing and I cried because I felt the grave marker was even more beautiful than Mom expected.  

Her grave maker isn't elaborate and is small among some of the others in the cemetery.  It is simple yet expressively depicts the image of an old cabin surrounded by beautiful mountains- treasures of my Mom's life.  If I study her grave marker long enough, I can nearly "see" her sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of her "cabin in the sky" where she feels peaceful in her new journey.  God bless her, until we meet again.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mother--both in the artwork and in the article!