Last spring, my sister and I had this idea to have a paving stone at the Montshire Museum engraved in memory of our mother. We were thinking it would be nice to have it installed around her birthday in July, so we talked to a very helpful and kind woman in the development office who gave us the facts as to how long it would take, how many letters per line we could have, etc.
We batted around a few traditional ideas — her name, a short statement “In Loving Memory of…”, that sort of thing — but those ideas seemed a bit flat. And then someone came up with the great idea of using one of her own quotes, one of those things she said that would make us laugh, or roll our eyes in embarrassment, or both. Lucky for us, we have a plentiful stock of those quotes. We figured that way, at least, whenever we saw the stone, we’d smile, and maybe laugh, and that would be the best tribute of all.
The quote we quickly settled on was the one that reflected the sentiment that probably drove our parents to Florida in the early 90s. She said it often through our childhoods: when the cold, November New England winds blew; on freezing weekday mornings in January when none of us wanted to leave our beds to get ready for school and work; while we were out raking leaves on a blustery October day. She’d say it, and laugh, and crinkle up her eyes with the laughter. Even though she was stating the obvious, the way she said it, with the long, drawn-out vowel sound in the middle, would always make us laugh, too.
I was a little worried to tell the nice woman at the Montshire what we wanted on the stone. But she graciously said she thought it was a great idea. I wonder what the engraver thought.
We had planned for July, but the stone wasn’t actually installed until sometime in August, and then we got busy. But a couple weeks ago, when my sister was visiting, we all went to find the stone. As it happens, it was a beautiful Fall day, warmer than the previous few, with the sun shining and a bright blue sky. Not quite winter, but almost there.