Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem is a phrase uttered many times by both my parents for many years. It is also one repeated in our home and is inscribed in my wedding band. Aptly, it is the inscription we chose to engrave on the gravestone that marks our family burial plot in our town's cemetery, boldly marking the sunny spot where both of my in-laws are now buried. These two words also mark my mother's grave  where she is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in New York, along with 370,000 others, including Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas. Carpe Diem literally means "Seize the Day". 

Whenever a family friend or loved one has died, my Mom (Nonnie) or Dad (Boo) would remark "Carpe Diem".  I think the message they wished to convey to me and my brother was to make the most of each and every day, live each day as if it were your last, and be the best person you can be - every day. Those words reminded us to be grateful to be alive and take advantage of each and every opportunity to be a better person and make this world a better place. Carpe Diem is, therefore, a meaningful phrase on a gravemarker, at least in our family. "Seize the Day" ! Don't procrastinate!  Get going and get things done! Make plans now. You never know when the inevitable will happen! Have you ever spent any time wandering around the local cemetery or toured an old cemetery where famous people are buried?  Imagine what is chiseled into all those headstones at the Arlington National cemetery, or on the marker where Elvis Presley is buried, or even Princess Diana's burial site.  Cemeteries are such peaceful, tranquil resting places for those who have gone before us. Walking around quietly reading the names, dates,  and the "slogans" or "sayings" etched on grave markers is a remarkable combination of having a history lesson and viewing someones personal rememberance. Thinking about what words or phrase to engrave on your grave marker, or that of a loved one, is almost as hard as choosing a name for your first born child:  both are permanent and both are very personal. Have you ever given any thought to this? What words, phrases, or phrases, if any, do you want carved to commemorate your life?


How do you want to be remembered forever in stone or granite? I'd like to hear your choice.  More importantly, let someone else know what you want.