I guess it’s the writer in me but I always love strolling through a cemetery. The buried stories are too many to number and I always wish I knew them all.
I can get a pretty good idea from the epitaphs carved on tombstones. Some are sad and some are hilarious, revealing a sense of humor. I wrote about a Texas Ranger once who was thinking about his epitaph and what he might be remembered for. It was in The Cowboy Who Came Calling with Luke McClain.
Here’s what he came up with: Here lies Luke McClain, he was one hell of a lawman. He fought injustice and crime wherever he found it. He gave generously of himself to make the world a safer place. He lived well and loved hard. He will be missed.
Of course, Glory Day told him he didn’t need to write a whole book. Her’s was: She lived. She died. End of story.
The epitaphs told so much about each of them. Glory was going blind so she was at a low point in her life.
Here are some favorite ones that I found:
Old Ma Walker, Non stop talker, Ran out of breath, Talked herself to death
Here lies Shawn O’Toole, kicked in the head by an ornery mule
Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs from a .44. No Les. No more.
Here lies George Johnson hanged by mistake 1882. He was right, We was wrong. But we strung him up and now he’s gone.
Here lies a man names Zeke. Second fastest draw of Cripple Creek
They abounded in riches. But she wore the britches.
Here lies Rosalie Tanner. A woman that spent most of her life on her back
I’ve often thought about what I would say on my tombstone. Maybe something like “I laughed. I cried. I lived.” Or maybe the opening lines of my book Forever His Texas Bride: “A plan? Definitely not dying.”
What would you say on yours? Leave a comment to enter the drawing for one of 3 autographed copies of THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING.