Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Family Gathering. . . Again

by Maggie Sefton



There are all sorts of family gatherings most of us participate in.  It doesn't matter if it's a small gathering of one parent and one child or both parents and several children.  If we're lucky, we each get a chance to include grandparents in these gatherings.  I've watched the interactions of my four daughters with their grandparents over the years.  Each daughter has a unique relationship with a grandparent.

I was fortunate to grow up with my maternal grandmother in my home with my Mom and me.  She was born in 1890 and brought a unique and fascinating presence.  She was also the Family Storyteller.  Maybe that's why I became a novelist.  Maybe it has something to do with sitting with my grandmother and listening to stories of how life was back "in the old days."  :)  

My daughters were fortunate to have my mother as their grandmother and have her included in their lives.  She loved all her grandchildren to the max.  Including my step-father's two daughters Margie & Judy.  Both of them mentioned it at the simple service we had for my mother's burial
last Friday.  Both of them often told me how important it was for my mother to "show up" in their lives when they were children and early teens.  Their own mother was sick most of their lives and spent many years outside their home in the care of various healthcare facilities.  So, Mom got to "mother" several girls.  

Last Friday, our family gathered at the beautiful Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC.  After meeting at the St. Paul's Center building right inside the cemetery, we all drove the short distance to the gravesite.  There, the lovely and caring female Episcopal rector read a Bible verse as we all gathered in a large circle around the site where they'd placed the pretty solid brass urn with Mom's ashes or cremains as they call them.  After she started with a welcome and the verse, all of us took turns sharing treasured memories or thoughts about my mother and how she had impacted our lives.  It was very, very lovely and quite meaningful.  A beautiful hazy sunny day with temps in low 70s.  Perfect.  Her gravesite is right beside my stepfather Stetson, both shaded by big trees.

I choose to believe that my mother's spirit is among us.  But I've always been one of those hanging on by my fingertips to the "Spirituality" branch of a tree.  :)   If it's true that our Spirit is "out and about" then I certainly hope my mother starts exploring.  Mom always loved to travel.  :)