Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Custom Tribute, Post 2

I will be honest, little Joel Smith captured my heart from the moment I saw his sweet pictures.  His smile was so big and bright and hid the fact that he was actually fighting a very difficult battle- the battle against cancer.  Aside from his smile I also noticed something else about Joel, something that everyone who knew him also knew- Batman was his hero.

Working on a child's headstone is always extremely difficult for obvious reasons.  Of course part of me always wants to cry for (and sometimes with) the family, for all of the pain and heartache they have been through.  And then the other part of me wants to give the family my absolute best efforts in honor of their child.  So, when I begin working on a child's stone, I always listen to the parent's ideas and try to come up with a design that is both beautiful and appropriate given the child's interests and hobbies.  While many parents do know exactly what they want for their child, others have no clue what they would like and simply want us to take an idea and expand upon it. 

In Joel's case we visited with the family and then got the opportunity to "meet" Joel through a news broadcast about the Make a Wish Foundation and how they made Joel Batman for a Day.  Check out the link below to learn about Joel and what an amazing super hero he truly was.

Joel as Batman by the Make a Wish Foundation

Of course, after watching the videos we knew that the memorial needed to incorporate Joel as Batman and, with the help of his family, came up with this proof....

One of the wonderful things about technology is that we can make changes to monuments until the family is 100% satisfied with the way the memorial looks, and this case was no exception.  The family wanted to move some text to the back thus resulting in the second proof:

Many families choose to put information on the back of their memorials and there is really no right or wrong inscription to use.  Of course I prefer to recommend that you go with an inscription (or epitaph) that is natural and truly "fits" your loved one's personality.  In this case "Our Little Super Hero" is completely appropriate.

Joel's memorial is absolutely beautiful and is such a special tribute to an amazing little boy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keeping Your Vases from Freezing

Granite vases are fantastic for keeping flowers at your loved one's grave.  However, they do tend to be a little bit of a maintenance issue if they are not tended to in the fall and winter.  Why?  Because water may accumulate in the vases if their drain holes are clogged.  Then, when freezing temperatures hit, the water will freeze, expand and bust the vase.  With that being said, a common question folks ask around this time of year is how to keep their vases from freezing and busting.

At Emerson Monument Co. we always recommend that you go out to the cemetery with a coat hanger or other narrow object and thoroughly clean out your flower pots as winter draws near.  Doing this will ensure that debri is not clogging the vase's drain hole.  Once the vase has been cleared, there are several different ways to ensure your granite vases remain in tact through the winter.  Common approaches include:

  • Consider placing a coffee filter or florist foam inside the vase.  This will prevent the drain hole from being directly blocked.
  • Consider placing a plastic zip bag on top of the vase and securing it tightly with a rubber band.  This will prevent water from getting in. 
  • Consider purchasing a metal vase insert to protect the vase (cost is approximately $20 and may be ordered at Emerson).
Many are often surprised to learn that there is not a good way to fix a broken vase.  We have experimented with Gorilla Glue, Super Glue, Epoxy, Vase Tape and other forms of adhesive and have not found one that will hold a vase together for a speakable period of time.  Therefore, the only solid way to correct a broken vase is to completely replace it.

Have a question about preventing the vase from clogging or replacing a busted vase?  Email us and we'll be glad to help!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preserving a Slice of History

Emerson Monument Company is pleased to announce they have accepted an invitation to participate in the 2nd Annual Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Cemetery Information Fair.  The fair will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church in Little Rock from noon to 4pm.

This is the second year that Emerson has participated in the program and, in doing so and with the assistance of other organizations, helps to teach fair participants proper cemetery preservation techniques. 

We hope to see all of our Little Rock area readers and customers there!