Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rose Sky, Rose Sea, Rose Petals

Today would have been my father's 89th birthday. Unfortunately his years stopped counting forward when he died at the age of 73 in 1992. For years after my family had gathered to scatter his ashes into the sea from this very wharf, Roger and I walked down these old planks to toss roses into the bay for him. We did that on his birthday and the anniversary of his death. It was a spontaneous ritual, one that sprang out of having no grave to lay down our flowers or our tears.
Being back in California on my father's birthday gives us this special heart-tugging opportunity to walk down the wharf for him again. This time we are not going to toss fresh roses in the bay. Instead, I saved these rose petals from our yard in Washington. We'll go down to the wharf after sunset Wednesday, and send our love and rose petals down into those stormy waters, saying out loud to a man who's been gone a long time that he is still dearly loved, missed, and remembered.

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