Saturday, June 10, 2006

A day for memorials

Sort of an odd day today. I met my brothers at the cemetary this morning to finally bury my father's ashes. We'd put it off for too long, but my brother has just about finalized the estate, so I look at this as another step in that long process.

Two years ago at this time it was all just beginning. Figuring out how we would care for my dad in his illness, the day-to-day efforts to find some normalcy in the midst of his struggle with dialysis and cancer, his poor appetite, and all the medicine and doctors that he hated so much. All the while trying to get his house emptied and ready for sale. It is a wonder to me that it's all worked out okay. My dad can rest well, I think. So today we said our prayers and put a velvet-covered box in the ground beside my mom and brothers who died so long ago. And then we stood around and made jokes, as we do.

My husband and I had a graduation party to attend at a nice waterfront restaurant overlooking the inlet and Sandy Hook Bay. On our way home we visited the county's 9/11 memorial, pictured above, which honors the 147 residents of our county who died that day. Located at Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands, the memorial is backed by views of Sandy Hook and the Bay, and the New York Skyline. According to the brochure, Mt. Mitchill, at 266 feet, is the highest elevation on the Atlantic coast from southern Maine to the Yucatan. More info on the memorial is available here. Today was my first visit to the memorial and park, but closeby is my dad's favorite German restaurant which we visited often on special occasions, like his 70th birthday, pictured at left, with my brother and sweet red-haired niece. He loved the dark German beer there and the view.


Wenda said...

I'm at a bit of a loss for words tonight (having written too many earlier today), but just want to leave a note to let you know how moved I was by your memorial post.

TDharma said...

Laura, may he rest in peace. Funny how those "trite sayings" gather true meaning as one grows older and experiences the pain of this life. Sounds as if you and your bro done good by him, and the others in your family. Now that dad is with mom and your siblings, going there will feel complete. Much love to you -

MojoMan said...

Something about your dad enjoying one of his last favorite beers made the tears well up. So often, it's the simple pleasures that make life precious. He was lucky to have such a loving family.

LauraHinNJ said...

That pic was taken a few years before he passed away, but was the last time we celebrated his birthday in a *big* way. We had a lot of fun that night - good memories!

The summer before he died - his birthday was one of the saddest days because we knew it would be his last. Somewhere I have a pic of him blowing out the candles and anytime I see the pic I wonder what he was wishing for then, you know?