Monday, April 09, 2007

Mama Comes Home to Texas

This Easter weekend was the time we chose to fulfill my mother's last wish. Being the quirky iconoclast she was, she wanted to be cremated and her remains make the trip home and be sprinkled over the Texas bluebonnets in the Springtime. This seems like a pretty easy task, but the first Spring after her death (last year) Texas was in a serious draught and no bluebonnets arrived. Who knew weeds (and that is basically what Bluebonnets are) actually needed water to grow? So my sister Patty and I made the decision to wait until this year, and I am so glad we did.
I cried and cried when picking my sister up from the airport, because this year bluebonnets were everywhere. Every overpass, every small patch of ground in East Texas was covered in massive, huge bluebonnets. It had been a long time since they had grown so fully, and I cried every time I saw them because it really was like the Universe made it perfect just from Mama this year.
Our first stop was to bring a little of Mama home to her parents. The picture we used to represent her on her last trip home was one of my favorites, an Easter picture of her and two sisters in 1954. We were shocked when we realized we were spreading these ashes 30 years to the day of my grandfather's death, and it all felt so right to do. Since Mom didn't want any type of gravestone or marker,we were happy to take her to her parents, knowing we could always visit her there. The next day it was on to find the perfect bluebonnets. We found a national Bluebonnet Park close to Ennis, Texas with great sloping hills into a little pond that would be a perfect view and very peaceful for her. So up the hill we walked, and the beauty of the place was overwhelming. We sat in the field and talked and talked, both to Mom and remembering her between ourselves and laughing. It all felt so happy, and when my sister said she felt her dancing in heaven, I had to agree. This is the field we found, and part of her eternal view. Because it is a park set aside for bluebonnets, she will have them every year they grow here forever.
Then it was on to Galveston, Texas to send the last of her remains to the sea. We drove down as the big cold front hit Texas, and it was actually sleeting in Galveston when we arrived. But by Easter morning the rains subsided, and even though it was bitter cold it didn't rain as we sprinkled to last of her on the beach we played on as children.
As much as we miss and loved our Mom, it was a wonderful experience I would not have missed. There is indeed a closure that doing the right thing for the deceased brings, and a peace that comes from knowing how happy she would have been (and is) that we did this for her. I am so grateful for a sister to share this with, Thank you Patty for everything.


Anonymous said...


What a beautiful story.

I, too, know the joy of fulfulling one's last wishes. When I finally finished distributing Jerry's ashes in Town Lake, Austin I felt such a feeling of freedom and completion. As you know, he left us on Easter Sunday, 1995 so this is a particularly retrospective time for me.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and personal story with us all.

Bammy said...

I have no words...