The picture you see above is the tombstone of one Henry Rosen, just as I found it during my family’s annual cemetery visits. Every year some of us in my family make the rounds to the grave markers of our departed members, sharing memories and performing the simple maintenance that is required to keep the markers from fading into obscurity. Henry Rosen’s marker had no such maintenance, apparently for a very long time; being nearly fully lost to the earth when I came upon it. Curiosity got the better of me and I removed the dirt and grass from Henry’s marker.
A little searching helped me discover that Henry Rosen was originally from Missouri and his parents were John Rosen, who lived a fairly short life from 1835-1876, and Susanne Demoully, who lived a much longer life from 1848-1934. Henry was born March 14, 1873, and had a first wife by the name of Mary Cihlar, about whom I could find little information other than the fact she was born in Germany. Henry and Mary had a child in 1898 named Joseph Edward Rosen. Joe was born in New Market, Minnesota, so it seems Henry chose Minnesota to raise his family. They also had a daughter named Florence, who was born in 1900 but died just a short two years later.
Henry later married Rose Ellen Sebeck apparently they had no children together. Rose was born to Frank Sebeck and Rose Nerud in Cook County Illinois in 1884. How she came to meet and marry Henry remains a mystery, but she died a year before Henry, leaving him to mourn another loss. With the passing of a baby daughter, a second marriage, and the loss of Rose, it seem Henry was no stranger to tragedy. Just why Henry ended up single again and married a second time, and what became of Mary Cihlar and Joseph Edward Rosen remains a mystery to me.
Rose is buried next to Henry and her tombstone was also on the verge of obscurity. I removed some of the dirt and grass from her marker as well.
So now we know a little something about Henry and Rose Rosen, and they are no longer completely forgotten though, it seems, they have long ago slipped from the minds of their own families and friends. Perhaps it’s a bit unfortunate, but isn’t that the earthly destiny awaiting most of us? Won’t we all soon be forgotten by our family and friends? I was recently asked if I knew the names of all my great grandparents and I had to admit I was at a loss to name them all from memory. How about you? Can you name all yours? How about their parents?
So it would seem that within 2-3 generations after our death, assuming we have not gained notoriety for one reason or another, most of us will be all but forgotten. Indeed, all those things we were so proud of accomplishing, all those things that seemed so important to us, all our rushing about, will just slip into oblivion – our hopes and dreams decaying into dust just as our earthly bodies.
In the book of Ecclesiastes we read: “Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So banish grief and pain but remember that youth, with a whole life before it, is meaningless. Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator.”
Undoubtedly, our earthly lives are, in the end, far less memorable than we would like to think. And after our death we will soon be forgotten here on Earth, just like Henry and Rose. But the good news is that God will never forget us. In fact, we are told that those who trust in Jesus will be with him forever: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2) And in John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
So before it’s too late, before you are gone and forgotten here on earth, turn your attention to your Creator, the one who will remember you eternally. If you would like more information on how to draw near to your Creator, please email us at ReignDropsBlog@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!