I have been dreading the purchase of my father's tombstone for months. It is sort of the final act for someone you love, you know? Its hard to sum up a life in one line on granite. Its hard to pay tribute to someone who made a huge impact on your life in such a final, salutory way. If I am being honest I have been procrastinating it for 6 months or so. It has been on my to-do list since October. Then yesterday for memorial day my uncle's wife posted this on Facebook. I couldn't believe it! This is exactly what I had decided to put on his headstone: "Beloved son, brother, father". I just couldn't bring myself to make the phone call.
It is so fitting. Because those are the roles he enjoyed most in chronological order. And he was BELOVED of us, the ones to which he fulfilled those roles. I could not figure out whether or not I had perhaps filled out the paperwork during those first weeks after my father's passing? It was all a blur. After all, I knew I had walked through the plans and made the arrangements in a complete daze. There really wasn't another explanation for it. Because those were the EXACT words I was planning to put on the stone. I loved the picture that was placed on the stone too.
Last night I finally got in touch with my uncle - my Father's brother. It was him. He did it. He had some ideas about some important things he wanted to place on the back of the headstone. Meaningful things. Things that would have made him smile. He also put a lot of thought into what to put on the front. He had crafted a tombstone 15 years ago for his own father and he wanted to honor my father in a similar way.
I am so relieved. So comforted that this no longer hangs over me. I recognize my Heavenly Father's hand in this and am grateful to Him for intervening in this way for me. It is as if He walked these last 10 months right by my side and then helped prompt my uncle to do the hardest part for me.
I love tender mercies.