Monday, March 7, 2011

Thanks Momma

Mom always said that she wanted to be cremated and thrown---oh, just anywhere.  She also said that she didn't want a funeral....absolutely not, thank you very much.  We (my brother and I) mentioned that maybe we could get together as her children just to remember her together.  She decided that this would be fine with her...and the suggestion came up that when the time came, Grass Valley would be a central place for all of us to meet.  You see, Mom was born and raised in Grass Valley.  Her parents are buried in the old Masonic Cemetery.  She said that it would be nice to be placed by her parents (though she found the cemetery itself stark and depressing.)

Old Elm Ridge Cemetery

 After Mom's death, I began trying to contact the Mason's in Grass Valley in order to obtain permission to place her ashes at the gravesite.  I was passed around from one Mason to another.  Finally, I received a call from the local mortuary.  They promised to go to the gravesite and see if there was a way to place her ashes there.  Unfortunately they hadn't called by the time we had to leave yesterday, so we had to go on blind faith and just take the ashes with us.

Today, while we were on the road, we received word from the mortuary that they would have to cut into the concrete covering our grandparent's gravesite in order to place Mom's ashes.  That would cost $761.  Mom specifically said "no cost."  Additionally, no one was comfortable with the idea of marring our ancestor's gravesite, so we were stuck.

My brothers discussed placing her ashes in Yuba River or Lake Tahoe.  Somehow it just  didn't feel right to me.  Not that it's wrong - it's a lovely idea.  It just didn't feel like what we should do.

So here's what we attention, because it's amazing.

Knowing that we were all going to need lodging while in Grass Valley, my oldest brother, Steve decided to find a house to rent.  He found two.  The first one is named Kate's Place and it's a pretty little victorian house on a little skinny side street near the cemetery.  It looked great, but it sleeps 10 and we just weren't sure how many were showing up.  Steve then found a larger house that we went ahead and rented called "A Victorian Rose".

So my sister, Audrey decided that it would be fun to find Mom's house from her childhood.  We went through Grandpa's papers and found an old envelope with their address on it.  I looked it up on Google Maps and found out that it was.......Kate's Place.  Honestly.  Here is what it looks like now:

...and here's a picture of Momma with her brother David on the front porch.  This was around 1942 - during World War II:

I mean, there are hundreds and hundreds of houses, and we found it, that easy.  I thought it so amazing that I contacted the owners of Kate's Place and told them what we discovered.  They invited us to come and see the house when we got into town, even though we weren't staying there.

So I thought to myself, Mom loved this home.  This is where she was happiest.  I wondered if we could ask the owners to consider letting us put Mom's ashes in the yard (which is legal, with permission.)  My brother Ken felt that there would be no way these people would agree to it, and thought we should go with the Yuba River idea.  But somehow, it just felt right.  So I called the owners and explained the situation.  They told me that they had thought of the very same thing when I first called them, but figured we were already set and so didn't bother offering it.  They were very excited and very honored.

I do not normally look for signs, but somehow I know that this is exactly what my Mom wants to happen.  So, tomorrow, we're taking Mom home.

Thanks Momma.  I miss you so much.  So grateful to know that you are still near me.

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