Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What I Was Going To Say Yesterday

I read on a blog somewhere (I think it was a feminist blog I came across when doing a Google search for Michelle Duggar...) about women and their gravestones. The author was saying how sad she finds it when she goes through graveyards and sees all these wonderful epitaphs written for men, and then underneath, all that is mentioned of the woman is 'She was a good wife'. I agreed with her at the time. How sad! I thought. Why don't women get glorious epitaphs about their bravery, hard work and countless accomplishments?

A few days ago, when the weather was still nice, I put Fifi in her stroller and walked down to the graveyard where her great-gran is buried. I passed many stones as I made my way to Gran's, reading them, and feeling sorry for the women who were remembered for so little...

We came to Gran's stone. It reads, 'A faithful wife and loving mother.' I thought about the stone, and all the work that she put into designing it before her death. She knew what shape headstone she wanted, what kind of stone, and most importantly, what she wanted it to say. She chose carefully those words: A faithful wife and loving mother.

I realised something.

Maybe so many women want to be remembered for these very things. Maybe it isn't misogyny, but actually preference. I started to think about what I'd like mine to say. I realised my gravestone will probably be nearly identical to Gran's. What are the most important things to me in my life? What hard work, bravery and accomplishments mean the most to me? Without question, the hardest work I've ever done, the most bravery I've ever shown and hopefully the greatest accomplishments of my life will have been being a faithful wife, a loving mother and a sincere follower of Christ. Why mention anything else? What else in my life means more?

Some women may want a different epitaph. Some women may want other achievements remembered, or maybe they never were wives or mothers. But I'll no longer think it an insult when I read the epitaphs of women who truly wanted nothing more than to be the best they could at the roles they filled while on this earth.

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