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my mother can fly

February 24, 2013

my family has always amazed me,

its tight bonds demonstrating incredible resilience,

acceptance, love.

yet nothing has amazed me more

than what will occur in the next few days,

and i am forever grateful for all the wonders that make this event possible.


my mother is flying to california this weekend.

sara and i will fly in on monday to stay with my dad and stepmom.

tuesday my sister and her husband drive down from nevada,

and my niece from san francisco will also join us.

we are having a reunion of sorts.

it sounds so simple, so very ordinary.

it is anything but that.

shortly after christmas in 1970 we lost my mother to heart failure,

and in the early and dreary days of 1971 we laid her to rest

at arlington national cemetery.

both families were from the east coast,

and being on active military duty my father had no permanent home base.

it was an honor to be buried in arlington,

and we chose this for her.

for 42 years she has waited there.

in those intervening years much has changed.

california became our permanent home after my dad retired,

and it has been there that the family gathers for milestone events.

after much deliberation, my father and stepmother decided

to bring my mother back to california,

and she will be laid to rest beneath the golden rolling hills of central california

where the sun shines warmly and cattle graze nearby.

we will get to visit her now,

to make her a part of each family gathering.

certainly this turn of events activated thoughts

that have engaged my mind for the past several months.

as i have ridden the serpentine rails of this emotional train

i have revisited the loss, the shock, the devastation,

the loneliness, the despair.

i have also experienced a restored sense of balance, relief,

hope, reconnection, and the incredible strength

of long-lasting love.

in preparing for this trip my equilibrium has been tested,

and i can honestly say that the purpose of my visit

is ultimately very simple after all:

i am going to california for my mother’s homecoming celebration.


think loving thoughts for us, will you?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2013 6:04 am

    i shall *certainly* think loving thoughts for you all….

    [beautiful….she’s beautiful….]


    • sassysistersink permalink*
      February 24, 2013 5:05 pm

      thank you, marie.
      i knew i could count on you, steadfast friend.

  2. Mary permalink
    February 24, 2013 6:22 pm

    I will send loving thoughts. Love you!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      February 24, 2013 6:27 pm

      oh, mary. thank you.
      it brings so many feelings to surface level again,
      which i know you well understand.
      i am so thankful for the 37+ years of our friendship!

  3. Tara Chesler permalink
    February 26, 2013 1:31 am

    Hello my busy friend! Thankfully, you are busy with all the things that really matter! πŸ™‚ I needed my “Janet” fix and was lost in your blogs from the emotional relocation of your dear mom, to picnics in Paris, to laughing at your sweet grandbabies and more. It’s always so fun to see what you’re up to and enjoy your amazing photos! Take care and continue keeping your eye on the prize! πŸ™‚

  4. February 27, 2013 10:25 pm

    Oh, Janet. This is wonderful, just wonderful. I know how much it would mean to me to get to visit my dad more often. He died in 2000 and is buried in Texas, where most of my family still lives. And even though I’m still young, I’ve wondered where I would like my final resting place to be–here with my husband in the Inland Northwest I have come to love, or in Texas with the rest of my family where I still feel at home. It’s a good thing I don’t need an answer to that for some time to come, but I’m so glad your mom will be reunited with your family. That is such a blessing.

  5. Sunny permalink
    March 5, 2013 3:02 pm

    So many loving thoughts as you make that journey. Xoxo

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