To carry on with the topic I started yesterday about my desire to write, fiction for now and maybe memoir later, and my penchant for visiting cemeteries and making up stories about the dead and buried there, I thought I’d show you that even this gravestone that I found in my cemetery wanderings seems to be telling me to write.
Meet the W.H.H. Dinwiddie grave marker (in Oak Hill Memorial Park, Escondido, CA). I am not making this up. It is a seven foot tall marble angel on a base who appears to be writing in a book. Or possibly writing a book. At the top of the base of the writing angel statue, above the name of Dinwiddie, it says, “He giveth his beloved sleep” (I think this is from Psalm 127:2b King James Version). Is that what the angel is writing in her book? I think the angel is a her but what do I know? Is W.H.H. a man or a woman? What do the W and two H’s stand for? Was W. a writer? Why is the only name on this marker, a marker with plenty of room for at least three more Dinwiddies, not on the front of the statue but rather on the angel’s right side? Was W. right handed? Why would that be important? I’m overthinking this. In Psalm 121:5 KJV it says “The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” Christ sits at the right hand of the Father in 1 Peter 3:22 which makes Jesus the ultimate “right hand man” but did this in any way have influence on the design of this cemetery monument? Probably not. What probably happened was that there were other Dinwiddies who could have been interred here and W. was the first to go and for whatever reason ended up at the angel’s right hand and also ended up the only Dinwiddie buried here (at least that I could see).
Now that I’ve thought this whole business to death, I googled W.H.H. Dinwiddie and, according to findagrave.com, I found out the following:
“It’s a boy!” He was born William Henry Harrison Dinwiddie. He was not mentioned to be a writer. He had a wife and family. No talk of whether he was right handed.
“Husband of Harriet (Breedlove) Dinwiddie, they married in 1860 in Yolo County, California and had six sons. W.H.H. was an early pioneer in Valley Center (Bear Valley), California. He raised fruit by dry-farming and also operated a dairy and creamery, assisted by his sons. While in Valley Center he served as Justice of the Peace, Deputy County Clerk and also served several years as a school trustee.” -findagrave.com
So, if that’s the case, why on earth aren’t more of W’s family on this marker with him, at the very least his wife? Who, by the way, and this is also according to findagrave.com and its contributor O’side Native, (I wanted to get permission from O’side Native to use their photo below but their messages feature was turned off. Sorry and thank you respectively.) W’s wife has this for her headstone somewhere in the same cemetery. What? She couldn’t have the left hand side of the writing angel statue? It’s blank. She couldn’t be opposite her husband on the same marker? This makes me very sad. Sadder than usual. Drat that google.
“Born Margaret Harriet Breedlove, daughter of Columbus and Jane (Pursley) Breedlove. Wife of William Henry Harrison (W.H.H.) Dinwiddie, a Valley Center (Bear Valley), California pioneer. They had six sons.” -findagrave.com
It looks like my writing angel has some explaining to do.