The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning is BREVITY
And I suppose a person’s thoughts automatically go to “the brevity of life.” At least mine did, so here’s my response:
“Pleasant View” – what an upbeat name for a cemetery! Definitely a “Rest in Peace” note to that. I suspect half the cemeteries in this country are named Pleasant View, Rest Haven, or some slight variation.
I stroll through the cemetery searching familiar names and came across two identical tombstones, side by side. Small flat marble slabs, the first bearing the name:
James A Thorlakson
1933 – 1956
I pondered for a moment how much living is represented by that brief dash:
The baby in his mother’s arms, lovingly welcomed into the family
The small boy growing up in Aunt Sadie’s large family
The rough and tumble of childhood antics with three brothers
Sitting in school day after day, learning the three R’s –or daydreaming?
The teen years with their whirl of picnics, socials, weddings
His marriage to Margaret; the joys of setting up a home
Finding work in the oil fields, moving to southern Saskatchewan
Then the fatal car accident that etched the final date on his tombstone
The dates and the dash do tell me about the brevity of his life. Likewise with the next marble slab:
Walter F Thorlakson
1933 – 1956
I know that this single young man was killed in the same fiery car crash, together with their brother-in-law. Thank God cars have a better electrical system nowadays that they don’t burst into flames after a crash!
The dates don’t tell you how the three young men, all employed in the oil field, jumped in the car one Sunday afternoon – headed to a store? – and died on the highway near Weyburn. A family tragedy.
Their father couldn’t bear his loss. Depressed, he took his life in 1958. Another life abbreviated by this tragedy. His tombstone rests here in Pleasant View Cemetery as well.
Aunt Sadie carried on, bearing her losses and raising her other children as best she could. Sadie lived to be 92; her dash represents many years lived before and after these heartaches and others. For all her suffering, in her older years when I knew her, she was the sweetest, kindest person.