Leaving a Mark

“Did you mark it?” my husband asked as he surveyed the patio extension two days ago. I nodded and pointed to the corner where I’d taken an awl and inscribed our names and the date, May 2021. Our new patio was officially part of the family.

Just like the steps to the first patio were marked with our last name and the date, 10/02. The driveway was christened by our son with his initials and the date, 95. Our basketball court is the most interesting and was the hardest to read: April 16, 1986, our names following down. I had to shake dirt into the crevices and then add water, watching it reappear like some ancient hieroglyphic or a hidden message in a letter. 

I wonder if I’ll leave my mark elsewhere, or if I have. I’ve read that unless you’re famous and history-worthy you won’t be remembered past three generations. Sometimes that’s just as a name or a parent’s memory. My mother recalled her grandmother requesting a new “shroud” every year and then living long enough for many of them to be made. Alas, Mother didn’t tell me which of her grandmothers this story belonged to.

Which stories do I need to pass down? Will my grandchildren listen to them? Where should I leave my mark other than on a piece of concrete?


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