Sunday, September 21, 2008

Anna Swan Bates

I always heard that when Martin Van Buren Bates ordered the statue to be part of the monument at his wife, Anna Swan's, grave that he did not order it to look like her.  However, he did order it to be eight feet tall.  When the monument was being installed it appeared that either a piece of the statue was missing or the dimensions he had requested had not been followed.  What ensued was him throwing pieces of the monument around the cemetery as those doing the installation cowered behind other tombstones.  I don't know that that is true, but that is the way I heard the story.

Last night on our lantern tour of Seville we ended up at Mound Cemetery.  Our guide pointed out various items at the cemetery which had been used in Victorian times.  One example was oblesks, like the Washington monument.  They were made high, they were symbols of rays of the son coming down, and pointed upward to heaven.  Sometimes a hand would be part of the tombstone.  In one a finger might point up indicating that it was hoped that the individual would be going to heaven.  In others, the finger would point down which really wasn't a symbol that someone was going to hell, but a symbol that God was pointing down and pointing out the mortality of man.  Urns being covered might indicate that something had come to a complete end and the final curtain had been drawn.

Lisa, Nancy and I went back to the cemetery this morning (and no we did not feel guilty about skipping the final tour to the cemetery last night.).   We did, however, take a much closer look at Anna's monument.  Look at the pictures:

"As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness.  I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."
Psalm 17 verse 15

Did the lady in marble write the verse on the tablet?
Does the finger pointing down have a significance?  It isn't God's finger pointing down.

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