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.  :)    

10 comments:

Miss Merry said...

I, too, have lost my mother. It is a hole in your life that cannot be filled. I am so happy that you and your family have all these wonderful memories of your mother. She sounds like quite a woman!

Anonymous said...

One of the joys of gathering to remember someone you love is hearing the stories of others. Gramp was cremated too and family and friends gathered at my parents home from late morning into the evening for three days. Many stories were told and I still remember them. I wouldn't have know much about my grandfather's younger self if I didn't have others' memories. I hope your family and friends continue to share the stories. I believe your Mom's spirit is alive and well, and in all your hearts.
Zena

Anonymous said...

The stories are the greatest way of honoring your loved one. When Mom died we did a Celebration of Life in the dining room of the church and asked people (relatives, neighbors, friends, assisted living facility staff) to tell us their memories of Mom. There was one from my brother that neither my sister nor I knew. One cousin who is older than I am told how Mom got her unique family nickname. They made us laugh, cry, think, and just remember Mom. So glad you could do that too, Maggie. Cordella

Anonymous said...

I wonder if/when Kelly will have to deal with the ultimate fate of her mother.

Maggie Sefton said...

Please forgive the delayed reply, Miss Merry. I was traveling to to get to a conference here in Florida. It was a very, very meaningful occasion. I think we could all feel Mom smiling on us. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Please forgive the delayed reply, Zena. I've been traveling to a conference here in Florida. I agree. Mom's spirit is alive and with us. The way I look at it, it's basic physics.The Laws of Physics state that "Energy once created cannot be destroyed." And the Spirit or Soul is simply that-----Energy. I do believe we are eternal. But, remember---I'm Maggie, who's hanging onto the far branch of the Spirituality limb of the Tree. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Please forgive the delayed reply, Cordella. I've been traveling to a conference here in Florida.

Maggie Sefton said...

You know, every time I've "asked" that question, no details come back from the characters. Kelly never knew her mother because she left when Kelly was still a baby. Kelly's dad was the only loving parent in her life.

Anonymous said...

Will you ever do a book about Jayleen's children/grandchildren?

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