I observe the transition in Tampa, Florida with my mother and my aunt. We celebrate my cousin Steve's life tomorrow in a memorial service.
Last night I cozied up to the end sleeping in my cousin's old room. We had to move his surprisingly heavy ashes in their sea foam green biodegradable gift-box container to the dresser to make room on the day bed. Tomorrow his motorcycle buddies will spread his ashes on a commemorative ride.
I went to sleep thinking about his life and death, his ashes, and my grandmother Pauline who also died in this house.
I went to sleep thinking about the energy of the living and the dead; of the past and the present. Earlier in the evening I tried to see what relief I could give my mother's aching hips and shared Reiki with her as she lay on the floor, her legs up on the couch. I put my hands over my cousin's ashes too. There is something still there, I tell you.
This morning we sorted through my mother's papers, trying to decide if she needs both a Living Will and Power of Attorney in Ohio and Kentucky. Her diagnosis matched what we expected: Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. They estimate she has 6-9 months to live with a caveat that if she does a round of chemo or two it MIGHT or MIGHT NOT buy her an additional 6 months. She has yet to make the call on that crap shoot.
My aunt made us breakfast and we sat in silence watching the TV bells toll for the victims of the Connecticut mass shooting. We mourned for my cousin too.
But not my mother.
We are too busy filling out the time we have left.
Today we will put together a photo board of Steve's life. And in our search through all the old family photos, I discovered that not only was my mother and my cousin a dancer, but my aunt was an early modern dancer and we found contact sheets with a photo of her dancing in a Life Magazine advertisement. And as I started combing through my cousin's drawers (boy do I love to go through other people's stuff!) to find a zip drive to get the scanned photo of her dancing to my computer, I found more photos: photos of family, young and beautiful, kicking off their lives without a hint of the wonderful and less-than-wonderful things to come.
So I am off to a Palm Harbor Kundalini and meditation class before I do my Staples' shopping for poster board, guest book, etc. for tomorrow's service.
I will say a prayer for the living and the dead. I will say a prayer for what has passed and what is to come. I will say a prayer for the dance and the dancer.
|My cousin Steve. A dancer and a dreamer.|
|Aunt Betsy. middle strip, second from bottom, girl #2 (face hidden by dancer #1, forever her nemesis.)|