“Chiseled in Stone” one of the truest, and saddest songs every written in country music. It was written by Vern Gosdin and Max Barnes. Gosdin recorded and released the song in 1988 and it won the Country Music Association’s song of the year. The song paints a picture of a young married couple that has had an argument, she ran to the bedroom and he, to a bar. The young man is trying to drink his sorrows away and at the same time tell his story of pain and loneliness to anyone that will listen. The young man is joined by an older gentleman and the old man begins to tell him he knows nothing about being alone, or the sadness it can bring. He tells him how thankful he should be to have someone to go home to. Then the old man tells him the cold hard truth, the truest reason for being lonely, “You don’t know about lonely, Till it’s chiseled in stone”
“You don’t know about lonely
Or how long nights can be
Till you’ve lived through the story
That’s still livin’ in me
You don’t know about sadness
Till you’ve faced life alone
You don’t know about lonely
Till it’s chiseled in stone”
I bought this album way back in 1989, and I still have it today. I have not listened to it for many years, but when Lindsay passed away, it was one of the many things that crossed my mind, chiseled in stone, such a finality to life. I know the song is about a husband and wife, but it could relate to any type of relationship, any type of friendship, any type of bond. You can never truly know sadness or loneliness until it is chiseled in stone, until it is forever. Once it is carved into a blank slap of cold marble, it is done, it is over, there is no hope of ever seeing that person here on earth again. No chance of telling them you love them, holding their hand or saying make wise choices, the last things I always tell my kids before they walk out the door.
Lindsay’s mom and I met with Jesse, our family service counselor with Oleander Gardens, when the time came to plan Lindsay’s memorial bench. Again the thoughts of Chiseled in Stone ran through my mind. What do you put on a seventeen year old’s stone, how do you tell the story of her life in only a few words? Jesse told Kellie and I he had thought about our appointment the evening prior and these four words kept coming to his mind “Life is a gift.” How appropriate these words were for our daughter, she was a gift, a gift to us, our families and everyone she came in contact with. She also gave the ultimate gift, the gift of life to total strangers through her own selflessness of being an organ donor and having a dream to save lives. Also, on her bench, you will see a Monarch Butterfly, this was one of Lindsay favorites. She loved watching them flutter around, trying to get them to land on her arm and photographing them. The relevance of this butterfly is so fitting for Lindsay. I believe this butterfly represents the recipient’s of Lindsay’s life gifts, because the butterfly would not be here without the selfless sacrifice of another being. There is also the logo for “Donate Life”, which has become such a big part of our lives, and Lindsay’s legacy.
Once the memorial bench was installed and I saw it for the first time, it hit me like a ton of bricks, she’s really gone. I believe the reason it hit me so hard was it was chiseled in stone. You can hear things, see things and witness things but sometimes it takes seeing a written word to make you believe it. You never want to believe it is true, it really happened, but when you see that stone, it is finished. I have mentioned this before in prior blogs but I am going to touch on it again. Lindsay and I had a great relationship, we could talk things out, we could laugh and joke and we could be serious when the time came. We were both stubborn and headstrong and that made for some very interesting discussions but at the end of the day the words “I love you” were always said. With that being said if you have a issue, a problem, controversy, difference of opinion or something you can’t even remember why you don’t speak to someone anymore, please pick up the phone and call them, get in your car and go see them, make amends. Even if they are not ready you have planted the seed. Never give up on your family, never give up on a friend. One day, when they are ready, they will respond. Do your best to make things right before you are standing there reading what is “Chiseled in Stone”