Thursday, October 13, 2011

This and that ..

worn hands rest on cane
wispy white hair blows in wind
beauty in old age

I posted this haiku sometime in March or early April.  My beloved aunt and cousin, dd, had come for a visit.  I was enjoying an early spring day outside with my aunt.  

In February, 2008, I posted this blog post.  In 2008, the day after Valentine's Day, dd and my aunt had lost a sister and a daughter in a hit and run accident.  This cousin had been out for a walk.

Late September disaster struck again.  This aunt, along with my uncle, instantly lost their lives in a fatal car accident.   I spent this past week in the Deep South with dd and relatives.  Unfortunately, it seems that death is what lately takes me back to the old dirt roads of Mississippi. My uncle had a traditional burial.  Per my aunts wishes she was cremated.  She wanted part of her ashes to be strewn over the creek that she used to swim in as a child.  

The creek becomes much deeper just around the bend.  My multiple aunts and uncles  would come here in their youth to swim.  I can't even imagine swimming here, although my cousin, dd, has.  This creek runs right along the family property which is owned by one of my uncles.

Have you ever noticed how velvety soft ashes are .. with a slight grittiness in this case ... tiny bone fragments, I suppose.   I tossed some of her ashes into the creek while my husband stood in the middle of the bridge and read from scripture.   There was no need to worry about traffic.  We were in the sticks.  All that surrounded us were woods and and the dirt road.  I watched her ashes descend into the creek .. and then ... wouldn't you know .... after the deed was done, I instinctively wiped my aunts hands off on my britches.  This spontaneous hand movement has bothered and slightly humored me since.   Chickory coincidentally happened to have 'velvet' as the theme for this week's Monday haiku in which i occasionally participate.  I couldn't help but write a haiku about that moment.  It made me feel better, but I also felt somewhat callous in submitting it.    Anyway, here is the haiku:

velvet soft ashes

tossed onto gentle mild breeze...

hand is wiped on pants.

Oh, and of course I have a visual ... have camera will travel after all, plus my cousin asked me to take many photos.
a view of the creek from the other side of the bridge

my beloved auntie ..

 I've been holding this post back for a while now.  My relatives passed away late September.  This post has been in safe mode since then, beginning with just a short shocked notice of their deaths.  It's hard to post things like this.

It's always odd to go back to this place where my father spent his childhood and young adulthood .... where I have so much family.  Except for a year during my early childhood after my father passed away, I have not really lived there.  I've visited plenty of times though but I never feel as if I am down there long enough.  The land, the red clay, calls to me somehow. I ought to go down and spend a month or more.    I do have property there, thanks to my father and mother.  I love this land.  The old homestead used to be on it.  It's not the land with the creek.  There were two seperate properties.

Hard to tell, but my cousin on the right is packing a pistol .. just in case we come across a rattle snake ...  It's hanging from his hip. 

We arrived back home sometime Friday evening.  Since life does go on, we unloaded our stuff hopped back in the car and went to a homecoming football game.  My son was playing in the marching band after all.  We had not seen him all week.

My son's  eyes..


von LX said...

Those are lovely memories. Thank you for sharing.

It looks very much like the area in Southeast TX where I grew up.

foam said...

Thank you.

And I agree. I've been to the southeastern part of Texas. It does look similar.

Jean said...

I hope your next visit is not because of a sad event. Those happen too often as we get older.

Condolences and hugs to you, Foam.

foam said...

That is so true, Jean. I just might start hiding my head in the sand from now on.

puerileuwaite said...

I am truly sorry for your loss. It is clear how much your aunt meant to you.

If it's any consolation, my cousins mixed my auntie's ashes into concrete for a patio. When I asked them why oh why they would do such a thing, they said that way she could always gaze up at the stars.

Then I reminded them that they had a huge, garish patio umbrella blocking her view.

They replied that the sun could be fierce, and they forgot to grind up sunglasses into the mix.

At the time it proved difficult to argue with that logic after more than a few beers along with the barbeque.

Anyhoo, again, my condolences, and thank goodness your beloved aunt was treated in a much more sensitive manner.

HLiza said...

Thanks for sharing this..I can imagine how hard it is to talk about the demise of the people we's sad but it made us appreciate them more..and the live ahead. I love the feeling of those trees and it must be an adventure swimming in there..and fun! Would you move onto the property one day? Just popped up in my mind..Hugs to you Foam.

moi said...

My condolences to you on your loss. I read your haiku before I read this post and instinctively knew what you were talking about. When my mother died, I transported her ashes from the funeral home in Albuquerque to the home she shared with my stepfather in Northern New Mexico. He requested that he be allowed to spread her ashes himself, with no one else present, so I decided I had to at least take a peek inside. You're right: strangely velvety, like cigarette ashes after they pile up for awhile, intermingled with grit.

foam said...

They did??? No, they didn't .. really now. I'm gullible you know. I'll believe almost anything. It's only very recently that I've decided you are not really a pug but a two legged human male (I think), race indeterminate (not that it matters), size indeterminate (not that it matters) age sort of indeterminate (that matters now, you better be over 21)
Anyway, thank you for your condolences. I was very close to this aunt and uncle.

I love the land, the trees, the creek, but I absolutely could not swim in it. There are snakes in there and probably leaches although I have swim in lakes and streams with leaches before .. and snakes actually. But these waters are just too dark.

foam said...

Thank you, moi. These are the first ashes of a dead person I have ever touched. My mother and brother were cremated but I didn't spread their ashes. They were buried in the urns I picked out. I'm glad my cousin let us share in the experience of spreading her mother's ashes. It made it very special.

Anonymous said...

nice post, foam

your auntie remembered
that pic labeled 'my beloved auntie' is so cool -- the ashes spreading to look like a hubble galaxy -- and the floating flowers... beautiful image

really nice post

× × ×


..................... said...

thank you, /t. It was almost transcendental jow ber ashes floated over the water. Very peaceful.

foam said...

oops, commenting by phone. i'll get the hang of it eventually.

X. Dell said...

Very poignant post. It evokes a lot of different emotions: joy at the life; devastation at sudden death; the rueing of the unexpected funeral that brings you back; the numerous feelings that come from the sights and smell of the stream; the sense of connection as you hold your aunt's ashes in your hand (thanks to DD).

My sincerest condolences.

dianne said...

Such a sad post dearest Foamy but beautiful because of the memories you have shared. Beautiful images.
I love that photo 'my beloved auntie', the flowers on the water look so lovely and there is something spiritual or star-like as your Auntie's ashes float on the water. It is so sad to lose those we love so dearly, my thoughts and condolences go out to you.
A warm hug my sweet friend.
xoxoxo ♡

foam said..., yes, thank you. all those emotions were present. today, i'm going to celebrate life. it's my birthday after all and i became another year younger!! isn't that amazing how that canhappens. since one son is off with a marching band competition, the other son .. well, he's doing his college thingie and mr foam had nothing better to do than to volunteer his weekend away selling stuff for a nonprofit youth organization, i'm going to be off and about somewhere ... although what i'll do is go to that band competition. not sure if i'm in the mood for all day bleacher sitting though.

Yes, I almost hated to put up a sad post, but sometimes it helps to get things off your mind .. a bit of therapy, I guess.

von LX said...

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

..................... said...

Thank you!

X. Dell said...

Happy Birthday.

I'm a veteran of those competitions. Tell him I said, "break a leg."

puerileuwaite said...

It's all true! In fact, I also found out later that my auntie wanted to spend eternity with "someone Irish who stays out all night". Now she has her wish, being right under "Paddy O' Furniture".

Anyhoo, the authorities need your street address, for an informal visit (something about contributing to the delinquency of an underage Pug). I just want you to know that I plan to wait for you, when parole hits. Then we'll sell the rights to the Lifetime network and interview with Diane Sawyer.

foam said...

thanks, x.
and i know you are. maybe one of these days you can trade stories, eh?

hmmmmmm ..........
okay, but my take is 75% .. just so we are clear on that ...

Shrinky said...

That first photo of your aunt is simply stunning. My goodness, I can't imagine the horror of losing so many loved ones to car accidents. What a beautiful place to have roots in, I can understand the pull it has on you.

And don't feel too bad about the pants thing, I have a feeling your aunt was watching and laughing as it played out. Love the haiku, sums it up beautifully!

And OMG, is that gorgeous boy yours? What a knockout..

foam said...

thank you, shrinky ... my cousins understandably are devastated. my cousin, dd, is still down there sorting everything out. i wish i was there with her.

yes, that is my handsome son .. you are talking about the one whose eyes are directly focused on the camera now, aren't ya? .. :)

laughingwolf said...

sorry for your losses, foamy...

can commiserate... of my family, i'm the oldest yet alive

blessings to you and yours...

Anonymous said...

velvet velvet velvet it means a lot to me just now Death is so much alive to me now I`m sorry I can`t explain
My broter died 50 years ago Just a few weaks old His heart was not designed for living Now in modern time he could have been a survivor Strange it is that my closest workmate's son has a similar heartproblem and he is alive

foam said...

oops, i missed this message laughing wolf. thank you.
i understand .. of the family i was born into, i'm the only alive too.

that is so very sad about your brother. you have this sense of loss, mourning and love for a brother that you never got to know.. and i do understand. although my dad and brother grew up into adulthood they both died at youngish ages from heart related issues.

Aunty Belle said...

Foamy, I'se so sorry, Chile'. THis is rough...too many to lose in a few short years.

When I read yore Haiku, I knowed what it must be, then Chick( gave it a different interpretation, so I figgerd I'se mistaken. But it were too heartfelt not to be what it wuz. Go back to Miss'sippi every chance ya' can, Puddin'--restores yore sense of belongingness.

I apologize fer not hoppin' by sooner--gotta git onto the RSS or Google reader thangy so I know when yore posts change.

An' yes what a handsome lad ya have!

THoughtful post.

foam said...

Thank you! Yes, it's rough ... it's not been easy on my cousin at all! I wish I could have stayed with her down there.
I know .. I do have a handsome lad. And he looks just like his daddy .. :)

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Nothing's fair in this world. A beautifully thought out memorial post.

foam said...

Thank you, Cosmo. You must be back from your travels. I will visit soon.

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