I will be leaving shortly to drive to the next county to visit the cemetery in which my mother is buried. Her birthday would be tomorrow but I will be unable to visit then as I am going out of town.
Irene Shirley Krazl died two years ago from lung cancer. Fortunately, we had time to say goodbye. She spent time with hospice but as much of that as possible was spent in her own home. My sister Linda and I came to visit often (she had remarried and had Dave there, as well). I am so glad I had those last months to spend with her. Grateful for all those years of zen practice because it served me well. Although there were some tasks I could do (get her food, change her diaper, hand her morphine), mostly it was just ‘sitting’ with her, ‘being’ with her.
I was her first-born so I suppose that made our relationship a special one. She told me a story of how good I was, how she would set toddler me on her bed and overturn her jewelry box with all its belongings. She said I would sit there, entertained and in awe over the pretty necklaces and gemstones. I’m so glad we took that trip to the San Francisco Bay Area back in the ’90s. It would be our only mother-daughter trip.
I created a puja (altar) to my mother in my meditation room. Today I will take those dried flowers to her gravesite and do a spontaneous ritual, spreading them over her grave. I will say hello and continue to make the goodbye a real one. Happy birthday, mom! Can you hear me wherever you are?