Friday was my Mom’s Burial Day. It had been a long time coming and being planned and I couldn’t quite believe that it was time when I woke up that morning.
Even before mom had passed on October 11th, she had told me she wanted to be buried in the same cemetery in Monterey that her parents and younger brother were buried in. She had made this decision soon after she and my dad divorced a year or so earlier. Of course, I told her it would happen. And it did – it just took some phone calls, working patiently with the VA (finalizing my grandfather’s gravestone too), and making all the logistics work from people’s schedules to working with the cemetery, etc.
It was a beautiful little service. Almost all of my mom’s side of the family was able to make it to the burial + two of her closest friends she met while she and my dad lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for a couple of years. While my brother Marshall was also not able to make the trip from Atlanta, we were able to face-time him for the entire service.
My Aunt Rose was so thoughtful and sweet to think to reach out to the same Buddhist monk that mom had gotten to come preside at the burial of her dad two years ago. That was very special.
We also played the same CD Ava insisted on listening to while we were in Atlanta earlier this year – mom’s favorite CD that brought her peace, hope, and comfort the last few years.
Now it was time to honor and celebrate mom in a way that she would have loved – EATING!
My cousin Lani suggested a great little spot, Red House Cafe, in Pacific Grove – the town right beside Monterey. It was small, charming, unpretentious, and had delicious food. Mom would have approved.
The next activity we did, would also have been mom-approved. In fact, I kept tearing up as we spent the next few hours or so at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mom had talked a lot of wanting to do a trip with Ava and my aunt and cousins to Monterey so we could all go to the aquarium together and because she couldn’t wait for Ava and Rainer to meet. She assumed they would hit it off. She was right. They were SO cute together. Rainer was so loving and helpful and Ava was loving and playful right back.
After the aquarium, Tommy, Ava, and I peeled off for about an hour to drive around so Ava could get some zzzz’s. The day’s activities + no nap had gotten to her.
We met up with the whole gang for another mom-approved activity (are you seeing a pattern here?!) Ramen for dinner at Ocean Sushi Deli. YUM! Mom had been here a few times when she was in Monterey so it seemed perfect.
After dinner we called it a night. Everyone was pretty beat and my little crew and I had to wake up early to hit the road as we were flying home in the early-afternoon out of San Francisco.
We couldn’t not get together for another meal though before we said our good-byes. The entire “Mom’s Burial Crew” got together for brunch at Holly’s Lighthouse Cafe the next morning. Another great place to eat, if I do say so myself. The meal portions were huge, the hosts and waitresses were so kind and patient. It was lovely.
Hope you have an amazing weekend!