Posted by: Wendy | August 17, 2007

Hello? Hello? Is this thing working…….?

Okay, so I feel a little bit like Jay Leno probably felt the first time he guest-hosted for Johnny Carson. Well, actually, probably more like Joan Rivers. She wasn’t good enough to step in permanently…and she was probably the only person home when Johnny’s people called.

I don’t even have a regular blog. I just have a Mommy blog. It’s not even that good. It’s got pictures of my son, and every once in awhile I’m clever, but more often than not it’s just … banal.

Kate, though, purports to like my turn of phrase. Huh. She is wicked smart, though. And has excellent taste. And she hates it when people begin sentences with conjunctions. And I do that quite often.

So, let’s talk about epitaphs. I know it’s not a funny topic (unless you consider the one that reads “I told you I was sick!”), but they are on my mind. My Dad asked me (along with my brothers and sisters) to come up with the inscription for the headstone he will share with my stepmother (she passed away last month after an illness lasting all of 9 days). It threw me for a loop at first. Then again, I suppose he could have just ordered one that said, “They were a swell couple!”, but I think his idea to have us decide is really much better.

The funeral home gave us a list of commonly used phrases. I read through them, and at first glance they all seemed trite. I started to realize, though, that they really only seem trite if they’re not about the person you loved. When you start reading the phrases in the context of your own loss, they take on a depth of meaning that’s intensely personal.

Still, we liked the idea of choosing something unique, something that speaks to who they were for each other. We wound up choosing a lyric from one of their favorite songs, and when we told my Dad he literally gasped.

So, here it is:


And anywhere we choose to be

Will be our rendezvous



And it starts with a conjunction. Sorry, Kate.

Have you ever thought about what yours will be? If at the end of your life you had an opportunity to evaluate it, who would you have been for yourself? For your family? For the world in general? Who would you want to be? Are you on track?

I’ve been thinking about that. There’s room for improvement here. For me, at least.

Crap. Forty-two years old and there’s still things to learn.







  1. Thought-provoking post, thanks! Pssst, though………..I think you mean epitaph, not epithet??

  2. Um, yeah Michelle. How embarrassing. Me and my colidge edukashun. Can you tell I typed this with my 3 year old and my 10 year old niece wreaking havoc around me?

  3. And I always start sentences with conjunctions it adds a conversational flow.

  4. I still think it is beautiful Wendy.

  5. I don’t want a tombstone or a grave. I think my job as a human is to raise some newer humans, try my best to enrich the world around me just a little, and then get out of the way. I will tell my children, when it’s time to try to explain why people have to die, that people die so there is room in the world for new people, new ideas, new hope. I won’t feel like I’m doing that if I’m permanently buried in a hole in the ground.

    We spread my mom’s ashes on the summit of a mountain. The sky is her tombstone and the view is her epitaph.

    (I’m addicted to starting sentences with “So,”. So, I understand.)

  6. Ummmm ok Wendy, way to make the rest of us (read: ME) look bad by having a nicely philosophical entry….I was thinking I’d write about my stupid cat….


    (Great epitaph, by the way)

  7. I have dealt with the issue of death. My son and my mom died w/in 12 months of one another. My mom was adament about cremation. That is what we chose for our son. I just get the willies just thinking about being underground(read way too much Steven King as a teen) plus we were below the poverty level. We had the asset of our house but my husband had been unemployed for 15 months. The thought my of my sweet beautiful 10 month old son in a casket…….eek. I know it would not be Him but just the shell of him but still. He’s on our mantel in a ceramic log cabin teapot(my 7yo said his brother should be in a home within our home.)

  8. Lately I’ve been thinking about what to do with the second half of my life and I agree there is more to learn and I am grateful for that. Just wish I didn’t always feel like I was in the remedial class… anyway I think the world would be a better place if we all lived like we wanted to be remembered.

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