After the funeral, Mom had to do something about a gravestone. A complication was that the grave was in Pennsylvania, she was in Arizona, and for practical reasons such a thing should be acquired locally, so she couldn't even look at monument showrooms. In addition, it costs several thousand dollars for something that looks like everything else. And, still in mourning, she probably found it too much to even deal with at the time. So one day, in a bit of frustration, she said to me, "Why don't you just make an arch?" And I said, "ok."
I became very excited at this commission, especially as, when I thought about it, it would be the first permanent thing I have ever done. I have written beautiful computer programs and accomplished stunning graphics in my professional life, but if any of them were to fall on my toe, I wouldn't feel a thing, for, like much of what we do in life, they are "immaterial." But this "monument" would theoretically last forever, and would be as real and "concrete" as the stones of which it would be made. And it did turn out to be the most satisfying work I ever accomplished.