Paying our respects to loved ones lost can take many forms.
I went to the cemetery this past weekend for the unveiling of my mother’s footstone. In Jewish tradition, the unveiling takes place around a year after your loved one passes. It’s not required, but it’s a nice way to pay tribute to someone you’ve lost. There’s usually a ceremony with some prayers, but instead, I met my sister and her kids who had flown in from Houston and we spent an hour or so by the graveside, contemplating Mom’s absence from our lives, and trying to remember some fuzzy family history. My grandfather bought this family plot where two generations of extended family lay, and now, both of my parents are resting there.
To be honest, cemeteries are not my thing. I am not one of those people who take solace in sitting, praying, talking to my loved ones. Instead, my thoughts go to the morbid place of imagining what’s actually under the six feet of dirt and crabgrass. It’s not pleasant, and I’d much rather pay my respects in other, less unsettling ways. However, I felt obligated to go, make sure everything looked okay, and sprinkle a little glitter over her, because Miss Glitza always sparkled.
The process of writing “What Ronnie Sue Knew” has been a wonderful way of processing my grief and paying tribute to my parents. As I go through the final editing and formatting process, I keep reading the stories we shared in her last week of life, and my memories of my parents from when I was growing up. Each time I read it through, I smile and my heart swells. Since my memory is pretty poor, I usually get to a passage where the light bulb turns on and I think, “Oh right! That happened!” Silly, really, but I appreciate that now I have a document that celebrates Ronnie Sue, Stuart, and all the gifts they gave me. They set me up to love, to succeed, and to share my gifts with the world.
I am looking forward to my book release this fall. I am excited for family, friends, and strangers to read about the life of my extraordinary mom. She was truly one of a kind, and I believe everyone has something to gain from knowing a little more about her.