Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Broken Pipe Memorial

At the shore near the campground, two hunks of ceramic pipe were stuck into the ground, inscribed with black marker. One read July 27, 2008. The other was a typical marker children put out, words, numbers and little pictures imperfectly drawn. One of my children had rowed with his friends years ago to mark "Friendship Island" in a similar way and were pleased to follow up the next summer.

This particular marker looked more like a headstone, as when oversensitive children bury a turtle in a shoebox and dutifully note the date of its demise. More sadly, they commemorate a dead pet, not buried in that location, but remembered fondly.

The makeshift headstone must have tilted over in the torrential rain, and it was at an angle easier to read the next morning; a butterfly, a branch of some sort, and what might be a tree across the top. Then the large block capitals: MOMMY.

Lara S. Foster, July 25, 1975 - December 27, 2007, with four girl's names in a left column beneath it. It had originally read July 27, 1975 - December 27 07, but the first "7" had been crossed out and a "5" placed above it, and the "20" was squeezed in above the "07," the inscriber apparently going back over to improve her work.

A right column read

32 years old. Four daughters. The oldest, perhaps nine or so, had put in the names of her sisters, the last of which is likely quite young. At church camp the summer after her mother's death, a girl had wanted to create a memorial, and likely brought her sisters to see it. The next-most-likely scenario is that the daughter is with her grandparents at camp, and listed her sisters even though they were not present.

I don't have any problems in life. Really. Some people have real problems.


bs king said...

Not long after I started in the ER, a young mother of four was brought in after getting creamed by a drunk driver on the highway. She was in incredibly bad condition (I actually don't know if she lived or died) and had to be rushed up to the O.R. ASAP. Anyway, in situations that dire, the "minor surgeon" (aka the one putting stitches in cuts) gets called in as backup. The seriousness of this young mother meant that the line of people with minor lacerations started to build up. The other staff and I knew what was going on of course, so were horrified when he came back and within two minutes a woman with a three inch cut on her leg started screaming at him demanding to know "what had taken so long" and didn't he know she had to get home to her kids. He just walked away. That's what I always think of when I hear "some people have real problems.

Anonymous said...


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, I researched her further but didn't write the details.

ChibiKnight said...

Hello! My aunt just found this post yesterday. My 3 younger sisters, brother, and I made that for our mom the summer after she died. I was actually 13 at the time and I'm a boy (though i understand the name confusion it happens a lot) but it was interesting to see someone had found this.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Sorry to get your gender and age wrong. I looked for the marker the next year as well, and still think of it from time to time when I go down to the shore at the Pines. Greet your siblings for me. I hope you are well.