Today Lucky and I drove over to the cemetery monuments place in Hudson, NH, to pick up Johnny's "flat marker" that I had ordered a month ago. And when I picked it up, cold and heavy, it hit me like a ton of bricks — "JOHN", now it really is written in stone. Johnny's flat marker is not the grave stone or head stone that most people associate with what's in a cemetery, but rather the carved granite — typically visible only at ground level — that marks the actual spot of the burial. We chose "JOHN", even though most of his birth family members always called him "Johnny", as a compromise — his full name is on the head stone and because Johnny's lifelong partner, Lorraine, always called him by his birth name, just "John" alone is what we put on his flat marker.
Today as Lucky and I drove home with Johnny's stone I realized that we will have it with us in Groton for several weeks before we have to take it to Canada — and leave it there — for his funeral in May. It's nice that "JOHN" will have a further time of resting with us before we have to take that next step.