This past Sunday I got churched. In the process of said churching (not so sure “church” exists as a verb outside the dialect of “Master of What”/my loonie mind), the idea of “monuments” or markers of important occasions was discussed.
Noah Webster, the man who felt inferior to some red coats and their language so he started American English (that’s why no there are no “rules” in our language–thanks a bunch, Mr. Webster!), along with his dictionary define a monument as “a lasting evidence, reminder, example of someone or something notable or great.” When I think “monument,” I tend to think of all the massive things the likes of THE Washington Monument or a ginormous Abraham Lincoln in a recliner. Wait–it’s not a recliner?
You do know I’m kidding, right?
It’s like totally the Lincoln statue in one of those Night at the Museum movies. (Hehe.)
Surely, there are things in our own lives that are “lasting evidence” or reminders of things we’ve experienced or encountered along the way. Maybe you have a tattoo to commemorate the loss of a loved one or your faith. Then again, maybe you’ve got a tattoo that marks an unfortunate night of drunken debauchery.
Either way, it is a lasting reminder, no?
For me, I like to switch out “monument” once in awhile for “marker” in my own life, ’cause you know, “monument” is so overused and whatnot.
I once dated an older guy who came back from college after a semester to visit me while I was still in high school (did you catch that?). He took me out to dinner and put the moves on me. I in turn ordered the surf-n’-turf, didn’t eat a bite, and gave my doggy bag to a homeless man waiting outside the restaurant along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As I recall, he kept saying “whatnot” all night long. To this day, I harbor a little something of my own for “whatnot”; it needs a some good PR.
In a way “whatnot” is a mini-monument for me.
There are happier, less snarky ones, too, though. Like this cross my parents brought back from Ireland. They were on vacay with their besties Brenda and Norm when we got engaged ten years ago. The hubs and I couldn’t tell anybody else the happy news until they returned. Not that we minded. It goes without saying, but I absolutely love this little monument.
Then there are these little nuggets:
The hubs spent a good bit of his childhood in Zambia. When we were first married and he was off touring with a band, he was able to go back to Africa. He brought back some of this flowers made from beads and tin cans created by women who were living with AIDS and trying to make a living for themselves and their children. I wear the fish on my key ring, so I touch it daily. Granted, I myself have never been, but I do share the hope of my husband of one day going there with our girls annually and serving in some capacity. Honestly, it’s a scary thought, taking our girls over to a third world country, but I long for them to grow up with a wider worldview than my own. That little fishie there is a reminder of what has been and what I’m hoping for the fam.
Monuments along the way.
In the end, we’re the living monuments of our journey and everything we stand for. So it begs some examination on my part; is what I believe in and stake my life on reflected in me? Are there representations to mark where I’ve been, what I’ve experienced, and where I hope to go along the way. Or at the end of the day will you remember me for my fascination with this:
Did I mention they’re starting one in Beverly Hills in October? Heaven help me.