Monday, September 9, 2019


I opened the Sunday paper and saw his face on the front page.  Granted, it was below the fold, but in the Sunday paper that's where the juicy, human interest stories appear.  It's also where I go first.  I try to avoid the news on Sundays; a day without Trump is a day with bright sunshine and clear thoughts.  Reading about my Garden Guru was much more edifying than Ancient watering hole at risk from border wall construction or Landlords saying no to Section 8, uprooting hundreds.

The Garden Guru lives in Tucson's historic Dunbar Neighborhood.  Turns out the neighborhood was developed on top of the Court Street Cemetery, a fact which my friend discovered while investigating a sinkhole that appeared in his front yard. 

The paper describes it the way he told it to Lady Jane and me when we first met.  (He) got a shovel and started to dig.  He soon struck wood and something underneath.  'I reached in and pulled out a handful of bones.' "

I might have yelped.  He, a true man of the soil, treated the find with reverence.  He graced his front yard with a shrine honoring the souls, one roughly the same age as his pre-school-ers are now.  That fact resonates with him, but living above a graveyard doesn't bother him..

I don't want to think about my parents spending eternity in the shadow of Belmont Racetrack, even though SIR's delight as we drove past the working end of the park on the way to G'ma's burial plot is my favorite moment of the entire experience.  Nannie and Grandpaw are on a verdant hillside that would please them both.  Christina-Taylor is ashes. 

I refuse to believe that it matters to them; I know that it matters to those they left behind.  I know G'ma didn't care about it at all.  When presented with the fact that a tree was growing in her plot, leaving only a couple of feet for a casket, her response was automatic and quintessential G'ma.  "Plant me standing up.  I won't care.  I'll be dead."

No matter where they are, my memories are vibrant. The advice she gives me when I stop and think about it is helpful, but that's no different than when I could have picked up the phone and didn't.  She lived in and lives in my head.  My fabricated conversations reassure me that she is hovering, trying not to intrude, but monitoring the situation nonetheless. 

Is she haunting me? 

When my Zaydeh watched as I jogged north through Lincoln Park, just past the Far Near Park, I had no doubt that he was somewhere between the fluffy white clouds and my shoulders. 

When Daddooooo died, we flew kites on the beach to a bagpiper piping Amazing Grace, while a whale floated by.
Those things didn't usually happen.  Was my father continuing to orchestrate things from The Great Beyond? 

None of us would put it past him.


  1. I love cemeteries and had Court Street cemetery in one of my books. I photograph the old stones and like reading about years lived-- multiple wives sometimes and bemoan children's graves. That said, I'm getting cremated and won't have a marker at all. We bought 8 plots when my parents died and my husband's parents are also there. None of the rest of us will be although the guy who maintains our country cemetery said, they allow ashes above a grave. I think I'd rather mine ended up in a stream somewhere ;)

    1. My sister, the only family member who wished to be cremated, left instructions that there be no plaque or memorial for her and that her ashes be scattered. Now that she is gone, her son and daughter-in-law are reneging on that request. They cannot do it and want to put her ashes on top of her daughter's gravesite and put up a marker. I asked them to remember my sister's wishes, but it's not up to me. People all handle death differently.

    2. I'm fortunate that all of my living relatives like the idea of cremation for them also. I think some is cultural. I just don't want my divided lol. I remembered when Linda McCartney wanted some of hers on their land in Tucson and some in England, not sure where. I didn't like that idea at all but it's popular with some to do who feel part of many places.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. When I first moved to Tucson, I hiked with the So Az Hiking Club. A group of them took small baggies of a fellow hiker's ashes and scattered them at peaks he loved.
    I'm thinking of having TBG turned into an interesting portable, outdoor, objet d'art if he goes first. He says it's up to me. I want to be scattered by those who want a piece of me :-)
    I think your sister's wishes should be respected, dkz. But it's one of those things that can only mushroom if you decide to interfere.... right? Isnt' it awful when others don't recognize that WE are right?!/!? :-)


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!