Today would have been my mother-in-law’s seventy-eighth birthday.
She died fourteen months ago and we’d planned a celebration this afternoon to scatter her ashes.
The folks who bought her farm loved her dearly and graciously agreed to allow her clan to return her remains to the land she cherished.
She enjoyed many things, but watching birds was one of her favorites. Even after she was sick it was something she could do through the many windows of the farmhouse. Therefore, after much discussion, we decided an appropriate memorial “marker” would be a birdbath. My sister-in-law found one on line that could be personalized, it was ordered and delivered. (Man, is that thing heavy!)
Hubby and his two siblings wrote a beautiful ceremony. He ordered an engraved memorial candle for the center of the birdbath to be lit during the celebration. We considered releasing balloons, but after some research learned that would be irresponsible to animals and the environment. We talked about releasing Japanese lanterns…I’m not sure what became of that.
There were more details, I’m sure, but I sat on the sideline on this one while Hubby and his brother and sister made the plans.
Their mother’s sisters were driving up from Mississippi and Mobile. His brother would be flying in from Arizona. Pretty much everyone else was within an easy commute.
But then yesterday morning we got the weather forecast: Winter advisories with the prediction of snow.
The farm is about an hour north of here and it is rural, very rural. It’s hilly and curvy with narrow roads along the way. When a storm blew in MIL pretty much stayed home or, before her husband died, they might venture out in a large, heavy truck.
A decision had to be made about what to do about the ceremony. Fast. Brother had a plane to catch. Aunts would be driving up soon.
The aunts, living south of here, weren’t excited about the prospect of traversing snow and possibly ice on the trip. Brother said his ticket could be changed.
They decided to postpone the event until the weather is warmer and maybe a little more predictable. Besides, it would have been miserable standing outside with the wind whipping off the lake. I haven’t been warm for weeks and I’m not sure I have enough clothes to have avoided frostbite…even though the farm’s new owners had graciously offered to provide hot beverages in their home after the ceremony.
Calls, texts, and emails spread the word. It wasn’t to have been a big affair, but she was so loved, we didn’t really know who would show up. We hope everyone got notice.
As I write this a dusting of snow coats my deck. I haven’t checked the weather channel, but suspect it’s heavier north of here. I think it was a good decision.
The plan now is to spread her ashes when the Irises are blooming. She loved irises!
Happy Birthday, Ma Sue. We love and miss you.