Steve had a headstone in his backyard. When I asked about it, he said, "no one is buried here, it is there to remind me that life is short." He went on to explain that he decided he wanted a reminder of our imminent mortality and went in search of a gravestone. The stonecutters offered to make his stone, for a hefty price, but that was not what he wanted, he just wanted a reminder. He said, "the next time you make a mistake you can't fix, call me and I will buy the stone you are going to throw away." A month or so later the phone rang and the next afternoon Steve lugged home a marker with a misspelled name.
He said every time I pass it I am reminded that someday this life will end. When I am fussed (and Steve really knew how to throw a queen of the universe hissy fit) he would look out the back window and be reminded, this too shall pass. Life is too short to waste time and energy being upset.
About 15 years ago, Steve started having difficulty swallowing, the diagnosis was advanced cancer in his tongue and throat. He died quickly, and reportedly with no regrets, saying he had enjoyed the ride, and had a ton of fun along the way.
Steve, thanks for the reminder.