There are many different celebrations across various cultures for this time of year. There is Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and la Toussaint (All Saints Day). We’ve celebrated all three, in a manner of speaking, starting yesterday with Halloween.
Dia de los Muertos
I love how Dia de los Meurtos is a celebration of those lives who passed before us. Instead of being sad that they are gone, their memories are honored through celebrations. Our family has never celebrated loved ones passed on a specific day. Whenever we would learn of a passing though, Mom would remind us to be happy for the time we spent with our loved ones – however long or short that time may have been.
She is a strong woman, in case those of you reading this have never met her. Just take my word, and take what you think a strong woman is. Then multiply that by 100. That’s my mom.
Anyway, when Daddy passed in February, we hosted a celebration of life on his birthday, February 23. We remembered the good times, enjoyed pictures of family and friends, and then the family processed out singing the Beatles’ You Say It’s Your Birthday….If this doesn’t paint a picture of our family for you, I’m not sure what might…
I dislike relegating any cause for celebration or remembrance to just one day a year. However, this year has been especially difficult with near and dear ones who have died. So even though we carry their memories in our hearts every day, this year I wanted to take the time to remember them this All Saint’s Day.
Chrysanthemums are the symbolic flower for la Toussaint, and as such I wanted to include them in Millie’s garden. As a bonus, this would provide color in the fall, as we are trying to make sure there is some color in the garden year round. The other day we stopped by the store and they had a special on mums and MC helped me pick out four mums for the butterfly garden.
A new tradition: Our mini-memorial collage
Our new All Saint’s Day tradition, though is creating a picture collage of loved ones, and sharing memories with each other. We’ll keep this collage up all year so that we can remember not just our loved ones, but the memories that we shared.
This morning I went through old albums in search of pictures. I ended up being sidetracked on many occasions and sent throwback pictures to friends. It was nice to flip through and remember many various happy memories, and then share them with friends. Too often in my busy life, I don’t make the time to touch base and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.”
It was also nice to look at pictures and immediately share memories with my mom who was with me, and share stories with MC, although she didn’t understand and won’t remember.
After I found a picture for each loved one, I began assembling them into a heart-ish shape. I added quotes, too, that reminded me of these people, and where a picture was missing for someone, I wrote down their name.
We’ll hang this on the wall, and continue to share stories and memories and keep them alive in our hearts.
As for my memory of sweet Millie, I will forever remember what a mover and shaker she was, from the time I first felt her kick. How she “danced” in my belly during a friend’s recital, how when I was just starting to fall asleep she would wake up and do somersaults, “Morning Momma!”