California and designing my Father’s Headstone

I always think of design and making things personal, so when my mom hired out to set my father’s headstone and wanted me to be there, my mind went into overdrive. How to make their headstone personal without being silly and over the top.

First, I want to take a moment to reflect …

Memorial Day is today … a day to remember those who gave their lives while fighting for our country.

A “Thank you” just doesn’t seem enough, does it?!

I was in California, for a week, helping my mom. She needed work done around her home and was making a list of things that she needed accomplished.

My main reason for taking the trip back out to California was for my father. His ‘headstone’ was going to be set in concrete and I wanted to be there to oversee the setting and  to add something personal for my parents. I went on line to find what I wanted and had them delivered to my mom’s house so they would be there when I arrived.

This is a  privately owned cemetery in the foothills of Sequoia National Park.


The army’s headstone

(I took my mom’s info off the picture for privacy)

Dad's headstone

My mother is an avid reader so this garden statue seemed fitting.

They set in a flower vase and you can see the horse shoes in the forefront.

My father raised Morgan horses and loved to ride, so it seemed fitting to place horse shoes on his side.

Always place horse shoes up, so the luck doesn’t spill out!

In order for the headstone to lay at an angle, they let the concrete set up a while and then cut into it at a slant.

They were so great in making sure that it was all done right and  not rushing to get it done.

It meant a lot to me to place my father’s horse shoes in the concrete.

We had to go back up the mountain a couple days later to remove the framing.

My mother chose pink flowers to place in the vase. She said she should have picked a different color for my father 🙂

Leaving was so hard for me! Knowing that I would not be back for a while made it all the harder.


What made this fulfilling for me was how it stood out from all the rest.

It was made with love for two very special parents!

Thank you for your patience while I was away.


6 Responses to "California and designing my Father’s Headstone"

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  1. Karen Gray

    May 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    so sorry for your loss, BJ….may your father R.I.P. in such a peaceful, beautiful cemetery.

  2. Bliss

    May 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I have never known anyone who designed a headstone. In fact I didn’t even know it could be done. Makes sense though, who knows family better than family.


  3. Betty Alark

    May 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Hi BJ!

    That was very special and personal! It was also creative! I like cemetaries! So peaceful and quiet! My condolences for the lost of your dad.

    Have a great week BJ!

  4. Joy2Journey

    May 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Karen, Thank you. It is a peaceful place!

  5. Joy2Journey

    May 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Because it is a private cemetery, I was able to do more. I know the owner of the cemetery which I think helped too. It was special to me to make it personal for them!

  6. Joy2Journey

    May 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Thank you Betty. I too like cemeteries. It was an honor to be able to do something special for them!

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