going back (5)

Three weeks ago today in San Antonio, Texas, my cousin Jamie (more about my love for him here), my cousin Linda, Jamie’s wife Patricia, and I scattered my mother’s ashes across the graves of her (and their) beloved grandparents’ graves.

I read the Hopkins’ poem God’s Grandeur , and anyone who wanted to say something, said something. There was no sugar coating of the difficult relationships we all had with her, but we all loved her.

It was wonderful to be with people who knew her, and who cared for her and for me, no matter what. My people.

The journey to Texas with my mother’s ashes was traumatic; I do not recommend it. I was completely unprepared for the separate examination and testing the box would need to undergo. On my own in an airport of rushing people, security folks handling ‘my mother’, I just stood there and sobbed and sobbed. The low point. But I had to get her to San Antonio. Which I did.

(After security, I found a place in the terminal to cry more, send a sad note to the family WhatsApp, and blow my nose. Within a couple of minutes I spoke with E in Boston, heard from M in Pittsburgh, and spoke with R in Cambridge. I am so grateful for my solid, loving family.)

I had not been to San Antonio in 34 years, since leaving for the UK. Yet there, especially after the scattering, sheer elation took me by surprise. I was so happy. I felt like having a party – dancing! Home at last. My home, which I had truly thought lost to me forever. It was so much more powerful and empowering than I could ever have imagined.

My mother would have been delighted, through and through. And would have utterly relished the cracking Tex Mex we had afterward for lunch. We toasted her with margaritas.

Goodbye Mom. Rest in peace now.

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