Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sycamores and Nasturtiums



My nephew Marshall showed off his arm muscles...



...before wheeling himself through narrow paths at the southern point of the beach...



...which led to my mother's favorite grove of sycamores surrounded by nasturtiums.



I went inside a mortuary for the first time to collect my mother's ashes and the place was even more grotesque than I'd imagined.



We don't deal with death very well in our culture. Though my mother was a member of a leftist Catholic offshoot organization that holds services in the San Luis Obispo gay and lesbian center, they weren't really part of her family's life. So we did our best to give her a decent sendoff into heaven on our own.



The death of a parent brings out some of the more extreme emotions in children, and though there was a chair throwing argument between a pair of sisters, by the time I'd arrived the four of us were doing our best to be kind and gentle with each other, which has never really been our style.



As my mother's printed obituary put it, "Pat loved many things: her children (usually) and grandchildren (always)."



She lived long enough to have a great-grandchild which for an Earth Mother must be accounted a resounding success.

9 comments:

Matty Boy said...

Honesty in a printed obituary. The new millennium is upon us, and not a moment too soon.

This is lovely work, Mike. Thank you.

momo said...

Peace and the blessings of the earth to you and your family, Mike.

Spots said...

Beautiful!
I'm only sorry we don't get the details of the chair throwing.
xxoo...

AphotoAday said...

Well, what a treat to be included, via your photos, in the delightful afternoon...
That last photo of the mother and child is priceless...

sfmike said...

Dear Beth: The argument was the morning after my mom's death where two sisters were disagreeing on where a memorial should be held.

Dear Donald: That's actually a grandmother and child photo.

Tina said...

This IS a lovely work Mike. The pictures of El Cap right from the start--got to me. Lots of hours of uninterrupted fun in that place, much of it with you. Sooo, thanks for this and your kindness,gentleness on a potentially hard day. Love from your sister..(the honest obituary writer, fictitious chair thrower, and lucky grandmother with child)

Katie V said...

Thank you Michael for that awesome post. It was nice seeing you.

Joe Lynn said...

Wonderful writing, Mike.

rootlesscosmo said...

Yes, what the others said.