May 25, 2007 marked the third anniversary of my mother's early departure from this life. And although we miss her more than words can express, my three sisters and I choose to honor and celebrate her life by taking our annual three-day trip to her favorite spot, Frankfort, in Northern Michigan.
My dad came with us in 2005; the first year we went. That's the year we took some of mom's ashes and scattered them into Lake Michigan from the Frankfort Pier. We even put some in a little boat with a tea light candle and set her off to Sea, as she always loved the idea of a Viking Funeral.
Last year was the year we had a bench dedicated in her name. It sits on the beach, with others like hers, looking out to the lake and the lighthouse just as she always loved to do.
This year was a quieter year. We were out of ritual, except for the trip itself and the Margarita toast at the moment of her passing . . . and the burning of a bundle of sage around the bench.
I guess we are creatures of habit . . . ceremony . . . ritual. But, my sisters and I are also party creatures! We know how to have a good laugh (mom taught us well!) - but, what goes on in Traverse City, stays in Traverse City!