Most of my immediate family got together a few weeks ago. It was the first time many of us were together since my dad’s memorial service back in June.We were putting a stone on his grave.
It was an informal gathering without any ceremony. Dogs were running around. Fog was rolling in.
The view down the hill is of an elementary school.
A spot on the hillside a short distance away affords a beautiful view of Mt. Tam
Some of these photos are from a previous visit to the site. The hillside has old eucalyptus trees.
We had a little picnic with bread, cheese, fruit and homemade cookies. Some of us stood and some of us were sitting on blankets. It is hard to imagine a family gathering without food and it was something my dad did: fed the people he loved. Or even liked.
We also planted a few flower bulbs. The pink amaryllis that my dad was so fond of we all know better by their more common name: naked ladies. The dirt was very hard with rocks and roots but we all worked to give these bulbs a chance. It may be a few years before we see blooms but I think my dad would enjoy the flowers and love the idea of being surrounded by naked ladies. I believe the sight of these flowers will always remind me of him.
The hillside were my dad’s ashes are buried is in the green part of a cemetery that also has a conventional area. In the green area, cut and polished grave markers are not allowed. Small natural boulders can be used to mark the final resting place of your loved one.
One of my sisters collected several large rocks from a beach at Sea Ranch, the location of a family vacation home and many wonderful, relaxing visits. I’m really not sure how she and her friends got the rocks up the path but somehow they managed it. The one that was picked weighs over 26 lbs so it was a labor of love. It feels right to have a rock from this special place as the grave stone.
In addition, she had the wonderful idea of using dad’s signature for his name on the stone. A piece of abalone shell was incorporated in the design.
The result is unique and creative, an appropriate marker befitting the man whose grave it rests on.
Shells and rocks that had been temporary markers now sit around the heavy stone. We lay flowers, shook out the blankets, and walked off the hillside.
Thank you for your visit.