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  • Hinfort ist mir die
    Krone de Gerechtigkeit.
    Christus ist mein Leben und Sterben mein Gewinn.

    From now on is mine the
    crown of justice.
    Christ is my life and
    death my gain.
  • The words above are inscribed
    on my great grandmother Katharina's gravestone.
    It is in an old Lutheran pioneer graveyard in Missouri.
    Her gravestone is set apart from others, alone.

    She died in 1899 at age 43.
  • My great grandfather, Samuel,
    was a monument maker.
    We believe he made
    Katharina's stone and carved the inscription.
    He owned a farm with his
    brother Elias.
    After Katharina died he sold
    Elias his half and left.

    They had three children.
    George, William, and Kate.
    Above on the right is my
    grandfather William with his
    brother George.
  • My son was born in 1999,
    a hundred years after
    Katharina died.

    I decided to name him
    Elias Edan.
    Elias is a form of Elijah and
    Edan means fire.
    Elijah went to heaven in a
    fiery chariot.

    Elijah is one of only two prophets who didn't physically die.

    That fascinates me.

    I think Katharina would be happy
    I named my son Elias Edan.
    I think she was a spiritual woman.
    Which is different than,
    a religious woman.

    I wish I knew her.

    But maybe I do....
    She left me a clue, and my great grandfather set it in stone.
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