To be set in stone

It was cold yesterday and today. Not like Monday and Tuesday when it was bone chilling cold. School canceling cold. It was zero Monday morning when we woke up. Not zero degrees Celsius but zero degrees Farenheit. Add in the windchill and it supposedly feels like twenty below. Today it’s back to double digits and, although it hasn’t warmed up to the freezing point yet, it feels much warmer.

Maggie was off of school for two days at the beginning of the week. It’s been a short week for her and we’re heading out of town on Monday so she’ll have no school next week. Kim’s off of work today so we called to see how Michelle was doing with the design of Elena’s headstone. Her plotter had been giving her problems but she thought she could be ready with something to show us later in the day.

What about three thirty or so after Maggie is done with school?

That sounded ok to her.

Kim and I picked Maggie up at school and told her where we were heading.

“Is that ok?” I asked.

“I guess,” she said.

We parked next door. Maggie reached in her bag to get some snacks to bring in with her. “Leave it,” I said. She started to give me one of her looks and for some reason decided not to. When we got to the inner door she read the sign and rang the bell.

Michelle led us into the office and showed us the work she’d done. Maggie looked at it quietly. Michelle said she wasn’t sure about the Chinese character. She couldn’t tell if these two lines were supposed to connect of be separate. Maggie shook her head and pointed. These two are separate. So are these two over here.

Michelle nodded.

She pulled out her eraser and pencil and soon the lines were separated. Maggie nodded.

Michelle asked about the rabbit. The three of us nodded. It looked nice.

Michelle took out two sets of sketches of forget-me-nots. Kim looked at both and decided on the single flower.

Finally, we looked at both sets of fonts. I still didn’t care for the serifs but I really didn’t like all caps. The only decender in Elena’s name was the “g” in her last name so that made the vertical spacing work out well. We decided on the serif font for the top and didn’t really have much of a choice for the side – it would be in the non serif all caps font.

Michelle asked which of the three designs we wanted to include. Kim decided we want all three. We would put the flower on the left and then the Chinese character and the rabbit on the right. Michelle thought she could make it work.

“Come back next week and I’ll show you a proof you can sign off on,” Michelle said.

“Actually,” I said, “next week we’ll b e at Disney. We’re going for a reunion of the girls Maggie was adopted with.”

“Cool,” Michelle said giving Maggie a big smile. She turned to see Kim looking at the special monument with the statues of the boys climbing the wall. “Do you like that?” Michelle asked.

“I do,” said Kim.

“It’s at Lakeview,” Michelle answered. “I don’t think it’s far from where your daughter is buried.”

“I’d like to see it,” Kim said.

“Hang on,” Michelle said, “I’ll call my dad.” A couple of minutes later her father was looking up information on the memorial and the cemetery and showing us where on the map it is and the best way to walk into the section to see it. Michelle thumbed through books and showed us some of the other stones near by. Her dad was quiet and modest. Too modest. When people let him, he did amazing work.

Michelle looked at her dad and back at Maggie and said “I have to tell you my story about Disney World.” The two of them tried to figure out what year it was when they had gone. Michelle was one of five children and they were all at Disney watching a parade when she ran away from the group to give Mickey Mouse a letter she had written to him. By the time she turned around to find her family again, she couldn’t find them.

Michelle said that since we would be gone the following week, she would have the proofs ready for us when we got back from Disney. We would have to sign off on them and then they could be cut into the stone.

I asked for another copy of the proof. They weren’t going to have the stones in time for the anniversary of Elena’s death so I wanted to have a proof that I could show the people coming over to our house. Michelle said that wouldn’t be a problem at all.

Maggie paused on our way out to look at the stones on the floor of the room next to the office. I told her that Elena’s would have the same shape as that one but the same color as that other one with the same writing as this third one.

Maggie nodded.

Published in: on February 9, 2007 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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