I was sitting at my desk making phone calls when a young woman walked in. She started to describe Todd to me. I began to form a mental picture of the man she loved and lost. Todd loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting in the mountains of Montana. Their journeys to the mountain lakes found them enjoying the outdoors together. During our conversation, she said, “He was the ‘love of my life’”.
“I want something to honor and respect the life we had together. I was thinking about a plaque or something simple to remember him by.”
We discussed the options she had and made a list of things she would have to decide on or gather information about. In addition to the historical information, his name, date of birth and date of death, what expressions or feelings did she want to include on the memorial? Since she had such an intense love for him, had she considered putting her name on the memorial also? “I didn’t know I could do this!” She said as she left with the list.
After explaining to her the advantage of placing a permanent memorial in a local cemetery where it would stay forever, I gave her a list of local cemeteries. Then we discussed the possibility of a larger permanent memorial with pictures of him and her in the mountains.
This idea really touched her heart! So out the door she went to see which cemetery would best represent their common love of the mountains. She also said she was going to look through her pictures for some of their adventures in the Montana outdoors.
When she came to my office next, she brought pictures taken on their fishing trip to Stanton Lake. Sharon even had a ‘love letter’ that Todd had written to her. As I read it I noticed it had their nicknames. Squirrel was Sharon and Taz was Todd.
This letter was then included on the back of their memorial: forever etched in stone as a token of their love. It read as follows:
When I met you, I had no idea how much my life was about to be changed . . .
but then, how could I have known!
A love like ours happens once in a lifetime, You were a miracle to me,the one
who was everything I had ever dreamed of,
the one I thought existed only in my imagination.
And when you came into my life, I realized that what I had always thought was
happiness couldn’t compare to the joy loving you brought me.
You are a part of everything I think and do and feel, and with you by my side,
I believe that anything is possible.
Thank you for the miracle . . . you are, and always will be, the love of my life.