Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Cummins way.

My wife's family is casual in their planning, to say the least. Heading for the coast on the 4th of July weekend? Heck, who needs reservations? A party of nine for dinner on Saturday night? Show up at 7:30 for dinner and trust to god.

So Lois's memorial was similarly planned. We knew that we wanted a beach. So we drove down the coast until we found an empy turnout. It is one of my favorite spots in Crescent City, the place I usually go to walk and read and drink my morning coffee. So it was very familar.

We went down, and there were rocks far enough into the surf to be able to put Lois's ashes in.
We gathered in a circle and the family told stories of Lois, and my soft-hearted son and wife were both in tears, as were the favorite neices, and it was all very nice.

Niece Ramona had brought daisies from her garden, and she cast them into surf. Bear, her big black german shepard plunged in after them and scooped them up. And that was all right. It was good.

Then Niece Norma gave each of us a little memorial she had printed up, with passages from Lois's writing. Linda gave each of us a bookmark and a piece of salt-water taffy. And then it was time for each of to take a handful of ash and place it in the ocean.

Afterward, we gathered in a circle again, and brother Lee, who is a minister, said a prayer of rememberance. And that was all right. It was good.

We took pictures, and the dog got in the way of everything, and Norma fell down trying to get into the picture and lost a bracelet but they went back the next morning and found it and that was all right.

I looked out into the ocean, and there, not 20 feet out, was a sea otter, cavorting in the surf. Seriously. We just stood there and watched, and tried to get pictures, and it was good.

Then we gathered up, and went off to dinner --without reservations -- and had a grand time.

I think the Cummin's way may be the best way afterall.

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