Mom’s name inscribed with her parents, August 2023

As many friends and family know, it took seven years to find a stone carver willing to work in the beautiful marble of our family’s monument in the Common Cemetery in Union, Maine. We were uncommonly lucky to find Karin Sprague, a true artist, who traveled from her studio in Rhode Island to Maine in August of 2023 to inscribe mom’s name and dates. 

Karin introduced me to a poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash,” which contemplates the significance of the dash between birth and death dates on a tombstone. This little line represents all the time we spend our lives on Earth. Ellis writes: “For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. / What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash.” 

Karin told me she had been thinking about this poem lately, and wondered if I had any thoughts about the dash. I reflected on how mom was a profound animal lover throughout her life, and wondered if maybe we could use a paw print in place of the dash. Karin loved the idea, and that’s what she did. So you see it there, standing in for all the dogs and cats that our mother loved over the course of her 84 years, and the care she took for so many creatures, including humans, as she spent her dash.

From the bottom of my heart I thank Karin and Neela Wickremsinghe at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, who introduced us.

       © Annik LaFarge 2010 - 2024 | contact | Chasing Chopin: The Companion Music Site