So we went to the cemetery yet again the day before yesterday. The drawing was improved – now it said, “Natan, son of Joshua and pasture.” I remained calm as Vidalia annoyed me by saying, “I can’t believe it! I even had Rabbi [blank] check it. These foreign languages are so difficult.” Okay, seeing as my name is among the most common names in Judeo-Christian life, I have a hard time believing any rabbi who actually looked at the thing mistook it for a cow’s lunchroom. What to think? Either this rabbi (not from our congregation since he was still in Israel) did not in fact see this version (she had a version where the Hebrew letters correspond to numbers and that one was correct) or he just didn’t pay close enough attention. The letters are similar, but not mistakable if you know Hebrew. I’m inclined to think they faxed him the numbers, not the drawing. In any case, she asked us to stay while they called the headstone company and had a new drawing made.
Mind you, it’s the middle of the day. We had asked to come in the morning so as not to disrupt our entire day but that didn’t work for her. She suggested we go visit “the baby’s grave,” while we waited and asked if we needed reminding of where it is. Believe me, I know where my son is buried. She has never once referred to Natan as anything more than “the baby.” But perhaps I’m being petty and oversensitive. An hour passes, and no new drawing arrived. We told her we were going to go because we had to get back to work, could they just scan the drawing and email it to us? She looked at us as if we were crazy – work, what’s that? Just as we were about to walk out the door, the fax of the drawing came in. Finally, it was correct. And I’m half tempted to call the rabbi she says she consulted and check her story. But I’m more just grateful to have it over with – lord help them if that stone arrives saying my son rose from a field of dirt.