As you know, my dad's memorial was this weekend. It went quite well. Many loving family and friends were there. Many tears and memories and laughter were shared. I think we succeeded in celebrating his life and I think he would have been happy in how we honored him.
On Monday, Memorial Day, we (me, DH, my brother, his wife and daughter, and my mother) drove a couple hours south of Carson on 395 to sprinkle my dad's ashes in the Eastern Sierra per his wishes. The weather cooperated and the day was beautiful. We had a nice picnic and a nice walk and many sweet memories and thoughts shared. Dad would have loved it.
We got lucky and the weather cleared up just enough for the 108 to be open...so the hubby and I drove home via Sonora Pass - the second highest pass in the Sierras. The lower part of 108 is well known to me. I have many happy memories of trips to summer camp, camping at Dardanelle and visiting my friends cabin from that area. But the high country I had no recollection of (I'd been there before, but probably 25 years ago). I must tell you my friends...I've traveled extensively in the western half of the U.S. I've been to Hawaii. I've been to Europe twice. And nothing I've ever seen surpassed the beauty of Sonora Pass that day.
Perhaps it was the feelings of the weekend, or the state of the weather. But from Devil's Gate on 395 in the East all the way until the gold country in the West every square foot of it was simply breathtaking. I do wish we hadn't been so eager for home. We didn't stop to snap a picture until we were well past the pass and the snow. It was not an easy nor a fast drive, but it was worth every moment. A fitting close to a weekend in memory of my dad. He loved places of natural beauty and it was he who taught me to stop and take in vistas and the smell of trees.
And now what? I suppose we just go on, as people must. I keep reminding myself how prepared and ready he was to die. He was truly at peace, much more so then any person I've known who has gone. In the last few months of his life he dictated a journal to one of the hospice volunteers. "Reflections to my loved ones" he titled it, and some excerpts from it were read at the memorial. He spoke alot of what it was like to be handicapped, how all things must come to and end, and how he felt the meaning of life was love. The very last line in his journal tells of his readiness to move on. "On bad days, I frequently pray 'come lord death, with your sweet embrace and indescribeable comfort'."