Mom is buried in a municipal cemetery shaded by palm trees. Like most of the other grave markers there, a simple, flat plaque rather than a standing tombstone denotes her resting place.
All that is written about her is her name and the years of her birth and death. And there’s a menorah, following the tradition of marking Jewish women’s graves with depictions of candlesticks.
But there is no epitaph. Nothing that tells about who she was, where she came from, how she lived or the way she was regarded.
The fifth commandment enjoins us to honor our fathers and mothers.
This year, as the second anniversary of Mom’s death approached, my brothers and I joined the growing ranks of children who now choose to honor their parents online, creating a Web site to celebrate our mother’s life and commemorate her. Also, since my mother was an artist, we wanted to share images and information about her work.
Essentially what we did with the Web site was to etch an epitaph for Mom in cyberspace, picking up on an age-old tradition of personifying the deceased through words chiseled into solid stone.