Happy May Day…Happy Mothers Day…My Mother’s Second Anniversary…We’ll be Stepping Out
May first. May Day is a many-splendored thing with more official holiday designations than perhaps any other day of the year. I recall as a child weaving May Day wreaths from spirea branches cut from our bushes and hanging them on our neighbors door. I especially liked hanging my wreath on Aunt Grace's door in the brown cottage.
As a woman living in Northern California, I celebrated May Day by dancing around a Maypole with other women in a secluded spot on Point Reyes.
Since May 1, 2006, though, this day has taken on another, deeper meaning. May first for me now mainly means the time my mother chose to pass from this earth. What a perfect time she chose to be the Queen of May...to culminate her lifetime graduate studies as a biology major.
For many people this May 11th will be Mothers Day. For my father and me, it's today. Today is not only Mothers Day, it is my mother's day. We won't be weaving funeral wreaths as grieving Romans did to appease Pluto, master of the Underworld. No, we'll be stepping out. Most likely we'll take an outing to Calhoun County to enjoy a day together in a place where my father and mother loved exploring and birding together...and perhaps have a country feast at Widman's Hotel. Wherever we go, and whatever we do...Mother remains our Queen of the May.
Asa way of connecting more fully with us, you can read some of my poems for Mother on the sidebar under "Sightlines: A Poet's Diary." Just look for the section titled "Sweet Little Dove." You'll also find her life story there and a moving tribute my father spoke at her graveside service.
By taking this day stepping out together we honor mother's memory and her place in our lives as she lives on in them, during the first two years following her change of destination. It is both our memorial to memory and our pilgrims' cairn on the path to the continuing future my father and I now share.
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