My Morfar loved stone too, and he knew it much more intimately than most. He knew how to score it, chisel it, cut it, polish it and fit it together. Even though he never had the chance to go to high school he could look at a giant slab of stone and figure out exactly how many pieces he could get from it, and he could cut it precisely, with perfect corners and edges all around.
Ironically, dust from the stone that Morfar loved – the stone that was his livelihood – settled in his lungs, making him too sick to work and ultimately hastening his death. Whenever I visit his hometown in Sweden I bring flowers to his grave. It is marked by a simple stone in the hard, sparkling red granite of his native Bohuslän.