Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fair Winds

Marjorie McLaughlin died August 7th. I'll always remember the date because it's my oldest daughter Nora's birthday. It was a year ago when we went to Florida to attend Marjie's wake and a beautiful reception the day after. I didn't "blog" about it then because during those days it hurt too much to think about, let alone write about. On that day, there was a huge bouquet of blue balloons tied with blue ribbons. Each person took 1 balloon and a sharpie marker. We each wrote our own personal last message to Marjie and then we gathered together outside and waited for the cue to let our messages soar up to the sky all at once. One of Marjie's grandsons named Owen who was very close with his "Nana Kitty", just couldn't bare to let the balloon go. He carefully ripped the ribbon down the center and as the ribbon tore it weakened. The last balloon was on it's way. A thin strip of the ribbon was left in Owen's hand and he held it like a treasure as if it were somehow a direct link to heaven. Marjie didn't have a funeral because it was her wish that her ashes be brought back to Cape Cod and immersed in the waters off Nantucket. Her daughters are the kind of daughters that would make sure their mother's dying wish be granted.
Just a few days ago they made the trip up from Florida carrying the "box". They hired a private fishing boat with a captain, who brought us to a certain spot off of Nantucket Island. Captain Joe dropped the engine and we waited for the boat to ease up. The longitude and latitude were duly charted and recorded and it was right there where we finally laid my sister to rest. Our brother Jack had the important task of making sure the job was done right. From the starboard side Marjie's ashes fell to the water and took to the wind. A sigh of relief mixed with pangs of loss came over me. There was a lull of contemplation as we gently rocked at sea ...before we headed ashore under an orange sunset.


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