Thursday, February 27, 2014

Inspiration for Lily's Stone

When I was working with a monument company to design Lily's memorial headstone, I knew what I wanted incorporated. I knew I wanted it small with a little lamb on top (as well as all the other things that are included). Stones with the lambs on top were very common Victorian markers for children and for different reasons (both the way they look and the meaning behind lambs) I was drawn to them from the first time I started seeing them. I had three years to think about what type of stone I wanted for Lily Katherine.

The monument company was creating Lily's stone completely custom-made (meaning there are no other stones in the world exactly like it... I love that it is special for Lily!) They asked for direction on size and the actual lamb. I tried my best to describe the type of lamb I wanted (trust me, all lambs are not the same - some are really cheesy looking and some don't even look like lambs) and they made one that I ended up not liking at all. My heart sank when I first saw photos of it in my email inbox and I was so disappointed and began to wonder if I'd ever be fully satisfied with a stone for my girl. 

This company is so amazing (email me for their name and information at that they promised they would not stop working until I was fully satisfied with Lily's stone. They would remake the lamb for me. They just needed some more direction. I had no idea what more to say to describe what exactly I wanted and what I didn't want.

So my mom and I went to a large cemetery called Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina for some ideas. There are quite a few stones there with the lamb on top. I wanted to find the size of what I wanted and the type of lamb I wanted. Stones like these aren't so common anymore, which I am glad about because I want Lily's stone to be "old-fashioned" and timeless, rather than modern. 

We found a lamb and size of stone that the both of us loved after looking at many. I thought a lot about it and realized that this stone was the exact size I wanted! Not too small, but not too big. We actually took measurements of the tablet and lamb to send to the monument company. This way I knew exactly what I'd be getting and knew I'd be happy with the size.

Tablet: 12x4x13 (inches)
Lamb: 7.5 x 3.5 x 4 (inches)

Not only was the size of this stone what I wanted, but I really liked the lamb on top. The monument company asked for photos to reference when making Lily's stone, but I couldn't find any that I especially liked online. I was hoping and praying that I'd find something at the cemetery because I had been putting off responding for a while, not knowing what to do or say. I took photos of this precious little lamb to send to the monument company, not knowing how the final product would turn out.

I was nervous that the lamb wouldn't turn out right the second time around either. When I received the photos in an email, I held my breath while opening them. I loved the little lamb right away! It is everything I hoped it would be and more. I like it even more than the lamb from the cemetery. It turned out just right for my Lily.

Here are some side-by-side photos of the stone at Oakwood Cemetery and Lily's stone.

I wonder what little Henry's story is. I wonder who his parents were. He was born and died in September 1921. I hope his parents would feel honored that someone almost 100 years later was so inspired by their son's beautiful stone. I hope someone 100 years from now will be inspired by my Lily's stone. 

If you are designing your baby's headstone, consider going to your local cemetery for ideas on both size and design.


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