Brady John

The Perfect Memorial

I’ve been really good about going to the gym and getting back into a good routine, and tonight I just don’t feel like going.  To make myself feel less guilty about not going, I am going to do something productive and share something long overdue.  Brady’s memorial stone arrived just after Brady’s half birthday, and since his 8 month just passed, it’s about time that I share a little more about it.

It seems like we waited forever.  We ordered Brady’s gravestone a month or so after he passed away, and it took MONTHS to come in.  I remember following up a few months after we’d ordered it and being told the stone hadn’t even come in yet.  They told us it would take a while, and Memorial Day was the target.  July 26th ended up being the actual day.

I got an email from the woman who’d helped us design the stone, telling us that it would arrive that day.  I could barely contain myself for the rest of the day.  I always stop to visit Brady in the morning on my way into work, and I knew I would be visiting again that afternoon.  I couldn’t wait any longer to see how it turned out.

Brady’s memorial is more than just a marker.  Long after we’d ordered Brady’s stone, it dawned on me that no one who visited the cemetery knew who he was.  I know that sounds a little perplexing, but when Jeff and I visit Brady, we often say “hello” to the other little babies buried around Brady.  You imagine these little babies, and picture what they’re like.  With no memorial there to tell them who he was, other visitors would see Brady’s spot and not know it was his.  It made me sad to think that other people weren’t able to know Brady yet, and it all hinged on his stone coming in.

I reflect back on picking out the stone with Jeff.  The woman who helped us was nice enough, and she was obviously trying to guide us through a process that knew would be difficult.  Starting with the picking the color of the stone, she suggested “a lot of people go with white for babies.”  Jeff and I replied, “Actually, we saw a nice blue one on your website.  It that available?”  Blue will always represent Brady.  We started drawing out what would go on the stone.  “We could do, ‘Brady J. Schmitz,” she said.  “We’d like Brady John.”  Jeff and I agreed on everything, easily.  From the teddy bear and the baby angel to the song lyrics on the back of his stone.

Driving into the cemetery that afternoon and coming around the corner to the baby section, I could already see it.  I absolutely love that we can now see Brady from the path on the way in.

It was perfect.  I anxiously scanned over the front and the back, making sure the dates were correct and that there weren’t any annoying grammatical errors.  Thankfully there were none.  I was so excited that I placed a Facetime call to Jeff.  He wasn’t there, but I wanted him to see it too.  It goes without saying that he loved it too.  I couldn’t imagine a more perfect memorial for our tough little man.

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