Scott Postma

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A Lesson From a Tombstone: Part Three

{If you missed it you can read Part One here, and you can read Part Two here.}

Finally, the more serious questions—the human questions—made their way up the levee and displaced the silty ones, distilling truths in my mind like the clear waters of Lake Tahoe.

Who was this unknown man?

Was he a prospector, a cowboy, or an outlaw?

Where was he from?

Were his parents living and looking for him at the time of his misfortune?

Did he have children?

Did he have siblings?

Had he ever been married?

Did those people who loved him ever know what happened to him?

What was the nature of his spiritual condition?

These were queries of identity, questions about his humanity.

As they continued to rise, my heart began to sink under the weight of the words etched on the weathered slab of rock planted in the middle of the desolate field of forgotten memorials.

Whoever the unfortunate man was, his life ended, tragically, in a dirty mining town in the middle of a sweltering Nevada desert—and no one even knew what name to put on his tombstone.


[This is the third post in a series of segments. Read part four here. Want to get posts like this in your inbox? Subscribe Here.]

About Scott Postma

Scott is a writer and teacher living in North Idaho. He loves teaching the Great Books, writing and blogging, and collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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