Friday, January 4, 2013

225. Mary Stoddard

If a picture paints a thousand words, sometimes three words paint a masterpiece. Poor Mary Stoddard's epitaph was almost lost to the snow. It's made me realize how many stones I've probably missed in walking this cemetery this particular week. Veterans from World War II forward are particularly susceptible to being easily missed thanks to the military's grave marker system, bronze plaques mounted flush with the ground. For that very reason I'm holding off on visiting my dad until the snow thaws. Besides, it's a long walk from home to Bourne, although Google says I could make it in 13 hours and 28 minutes.

But as stated, sometimes it's the succinctness of a phrase that speaks volumes: "Let me rest."

Mary died at 87 years old in 1888, but at least it was in August, between the Great Blizzard of March and the Great Storm of November. And I can get the sentiment, 87 is a long life. Even in 1888, a woman who reached 60 was expected to live until about 74, so Mary was entering mostly unexplored territory. I guess that it would be worse if somebody had died at say, 28, and had those words on their tombstone. At 28, they would denote a struggle with life; at 87, they state that the time to go had come.

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