Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunrise River Farewell

It was a chilly day in October. The autumn colors vivid. The sun bright. The sky clear blue. We gathered together...daughters, spouses, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, dear friends. We walked onto the bridge at the Sunrise River to bid farewell to my mother. Her final wishes were that her ashes be scattered here. To the same river my father's had been scattered seven years before.

This place had been special for both of them. He grew up fishing here, hunting here, playing with friends and family here. Years later, he brought my mother here, and, eventually, all of his daughters, too. We would picnic near the river. Walk through the old Sunrise Cemetary a short distance away. It was peaceful. Beautiful. Just the smell of the place a happy memory.

And so, little more than a month after Mom passed away, we made this journey. We gathered on the bridge over the flowing river. We were more than twenty. One by one we stepped forward and gathered her ashes in our hands. One by one we stepped to the side of the bridge, opened our hands, and released the grains of a precious soul into the water. Watched her dust dance in the wind, land on the sun-dappled water and flow away.

We hugged. We cried. We talked. We shared memories. We honored her wishes. Bid her farewell. We traveled from near and far. Carried her ashes to the river, released them, then carried her home in our hearts.

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