Often times to better accommodate a family, we will meet them in their home to discuss options for their memorial stones. This typically gives you a greater insight into who the people are, and what they cared about. However, I have no doubt that I could’ve met George Abdoo in any setting, and I would know just about everything there was to know about him. He is a kind man, whose love and devotion to his wife were only rivaled by his devotion to God. Sitting across from his kitchen table from him and his family, George was about the most hospitable person you could ever meet. He also clearly had a keen sense of details and wasn’t afraid to share his opinion.
We began discussing the designs, and I mentioned using a cross or some other religious emblem. He immediately asked to be excused because he had to show me something. After running back to his bedroom, he returned with a cross that he said his wife and bought a few weeks before her passing. Written on the cross was 2 Chronicles 20:15, “The battle is not yours, but God’s”. He said the cross and this verse both had to be incorporated into the stone, and I agreed. He also wanted to represent that he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors, but that they were also classy people who could “clean up nicely”. He also wanted a hummingbird for his wife, and a pistol engraving for himself. Speaking to his sense of details, he also wanted me to ensure that the gun was engraved “with the safety on”.
I set to work and immediately, the ideas flowed naturally into each other. Opting to use a polished cross with a recessed background gave it the reverence George was looking for. The shell rock portion of the design is there to show their natural and outdoorsy side, with the polished portion to show their refined and classy side. The line between the two not being there to separate these two halves, but instead to join them together, along with the cross representing their faith and its place in all parts of their lives. I chose to engrave the hummingbird and pistol on granite vases instead of the monument itself, with the notion that these were not parts of them, but very close to who they were.
On the reverse of the memorial, the same style of cross again as the prominent feature. Their name, signifying the second most important thing to them being family. Lastly, the same scripture verse George had shared with me the first time we met that his wife was so fond of.
It is so very rare that a family can help us to put meaning into almost every inch of a memorial. But as I said in the beginning, George was the kind of man who wasn’t afraid to let everyone know just who he is and what he believes, and how much he loves his family.
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