These are the Days of Our Lives......
These are the days of our lives....
Beautiful.... Majestic.... Detailed.....Forgotten. All words that describe a very unique place.
Let me tell you about it.
A few years ago I met a photographer friend to make some photographs in one of the most beautiful cemeteries that I think I have ever been to. But this isn't about those photographs; it is about our time on this earth and how our lives are reflected in the end.
Friendship Cemetery is located on 65 acres in Columbus, Mississippi along the Tombigbee River and contains more than 16,000 individual graves. Buried in the cemetery are many veterans that fought in every war from the American Revolution through the Vietnam War and maybe wars following. There are also the graves of those who helped shape the history and future of the great State of Mississippi and the United States since it is also the place given credit for the establishment of Memorial Day. But that isn't all that is here....
Also buried here are those that were common people; people just like you and me that lived their lives the best way they knew how. Those graves are mixed in among those of the more prominent people of the area and close to the unknowns that are buried here, remembered only by that stark white marker.
The markers in this place are varied. Different shapes, sizes and colors as well as those with angels and religious symbols abound throughout the cemetery, adorning stones that are very intricate, real works of art, covered with lichens and displaying the wear from nature for the last 160 years or so. Many are stone carvings representing the graves of children, one in particular from the late 1800s that simply says... Our Babe.
Another well-known marker is the one that marks the grave of Rev.Thomas Cox Teasdale, known as the Weeping Angel. It has stood as a silent tribute for 120 years and is the most moving of all the ones in this sacred place; photographed thousands of times by those seeking solace for a recent loss or just because it carries a special meaning for them.
But even more remarkable in a rather odd sort of way are those memorials and markers that are really elegant and majestic, that no doubt mirrored the lives of those that they represent, but no longer are maintained by the families, or anyone else other than the groundskeepers. Empty vases sit atop massive monuments surrounded by the remains of beautiful wrought iron fences that are missing parts of their elements or in some cases, where only a corner post remains. Beautiful... Detailed.... Majestic.....
Tributes to the life of a person or family that are now nothing more but remnants of their former beauty and elegance, cracking under nature's forces.
This got me to wondering today. How many of us are like this?
Many of us walk this earth hoping to make a difference before our time is over yet others only seek to get out of it what they can without any regard for those around them. Others live extravagant lives and at the end, have huge monuments erected to honor themselves hoping that they are remembered for eternity by their family and peers.
Ask yourself this question: Do you want to be remembered for the difference you made or will the only remembrance of you be that of a massive marble marker that has crumbled over time, long forgotten to be viewed by others that didn't know you?
Think about it.
Keywords: carved, columbus, columbus mississippi, friendship cemetery, granite, grave markers, graves, mississippi, monument, My World, old, our babe, photography, remember, remembering, stone, teasdale, thomas cox teasdale, weeping angel
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