01-05-10

Tuesday 3145

Dear B,

Happy first Tuesday of the year! I spent the day vegetating in my nightgown and in bed the whole day, watching DVD’s, reading a little, eating leftovers from the memorial. I am so very, very tired. The past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster ride. So much joy, so much sadness.

We spread some of Betty’s ashes around the old apple tree yesterday. The day was dark, rainy, and gloomy—a dank day, as her son, J called it, but it turned to a misty rain when we actually went to the tree. An eagle flew in low as we were walking to the tree and a raven flew by and croaked a few times as I read aloud excerpts from a poem called “Gravel” by Mary Oliver. We all (her four kids and two spouses) spread a handful of ashes around the tree. Nothing like having someone’s bones in your hand to get a very final sense of closure.

We came back to the house and I gave her kids the apple-wood bowls I had commissioned—wood from the very tree she had claimed as “hers.” She had written each name on the bowl and written an accompanying card for each one. We shared tears, laughter, appreciations, and memories and food and hot, mulled apple cider. And now we return to our lives, diluted with hers.

I was so very, very happy to see you and meet T. I loved your spontaneity and I believe the timing was perfect for all kinds of reasons. I hope you’re back safely in DC now and getting ready to move on with your life and with taking up space. Thanks so much for coming and for all you shared with me. You are so very important to me!

Love,

Auntie E

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