Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gravestone inscription

I've been tasked with my dad's gravestone inscription. Actually I volunteered for this. I envisioned writing something unique & personal that would set my dad's gravestone apart from everyone else's in the cemetery. Problem is, I'm limited to 22 spaces.

How do you sum up your dad's life & your love for him in 22 spaces? Examples given on the form from Riverside National Cemetery include: 1) Forever in our hearts, and 2) Mom & Dad loved by all.

I've spent the last few days wracking my brain trying to think of something personal to write. At first my dilemma was - How do I put into words how much my dad, the first man I ever loved meant to me? The last thing I want is a generic saying. When leaving the funeral home (with form in hand) my brother said to me, "You can write it. I trust you. Just as long as it mentions husband, dad & grandpa I'll be happy." He & my mom gave me their blessing to write whatever I wanted, without having to get their final approval on it. Reiterate - problem is I am limited to 22 spaces! That doesn't allow for much creativity. "Husband, Dad & grandpa" is 22 characters alone.

So here is what I came up with:

Loved Yobo/Dad/Grandpa

Yobo is Korean for "spouse". My mom & dad referred to each other as "Yobo" throughout their almost 40 years of marriage. When I hear my mom mention "Yobo" I immediately think of my dad.

Although it saddens me that I can't put more words down - at least it's unique to my dad. He was married to a Korean woman (my mom), lived in Korea while stationed in the Air Force, and had 2 Amerasian children. The Yobo is a tribute to my mom as well, acknowledging her influence in his life.

I think my dad would understand and he'd love the "Yobo" reference.

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