Taking Mom Out Back
27 October 2008
Today I am taking Mom out back. It’s time now… Up until now, I have resisted, not wanting to ‘let her go.’ But today, it’s time.
For the past 6 years she has sat on my mantle, underneath the last Mother’s Day Card I gave her in 2001… my last ‘Mother’s Day’ with her. She continued to be a source of ‘comfort’ for me, sitting there quietly. I’d walk by, see her, and reflect upon what she meant to me in my life. Sometimes laughter, sometimes tears, always – heartfelt gratitude.
A few years back I took her ashes to a small farm just outside Lebanon, Ohio. I had been told it was the farm where she grew up on. (I later learned she was actually born on another place.) Just the same, there was a lady working in a blackberry patch in the yard as Cheryl and I drove up. I introduced myself, and explained that I wanted to ‘bring Mom home’ – that I wanted to scatter some of her ashes on the property where she was raised. The lady was very gracious. She stopped her work, thought for a moment, then directed us to a huge Sycamore tree just up the lane, about a quarter mile from the house.
Cheryl and I then drove up that lane as directed. We then walked the last hundred yards or so, until we were standing under that large Sycamore. It is a magnificent tree; limbs spreading high and all around it, providing shade for all those seeking it. Nearby there’s a dry creek bed. What a fitting, and peaceful setting for Mom! As I stood there that bright, warm Saturday morning, I could easily imagine Mom playing under that tree as a child. I would have, for sure. It looked like a fun, safe place for a child to play.
I checked the wind direction, opened the box with Mom’s ashes, and after offering a short prayer, gave her back to God. At least, part of her. Today I will surrender the rest of her; it’s time.
I have a mound out back, a mound I built. Today it’s a ‘work in progress, like me. It’s becoming a ‘sacred’ place for me, and that’s where I’ll put her. Someday, I’ll join her out there. It’s quiet out there, kinda in the woods, overlooking the pond. Fitting.
This is the card I gave Mom in 2001. The inscription is simple; when you open it, all there is, is the single word, “thanks.” I added, “…sometimes a simple picture says it all! Thanks, Mom” And so, as I give her back to God here this morning, that will forever resonate in my mind…
love Bobby, Billy and Debbie”
27 October 2008