Recently I traveled to New England where we interred the ashes of my dear cousin Bunny. It was a sentimental journey, for sure. She was buried in the family plot in Norton, Massachusetts. I spent the first twelve years of my life in Norton and this trip fueled so many memories probably because little seems to have changed in Norton–except the traffic. Lots of cars. It is now a bedroom community to Boston. I’m certain there are the dreaded “developments” somewhere but the town center is remarkably in tact.
In attendance were cousins of every age, ranging from nine weeks to 85 years. It was a gorgeous day. Bunny’s brother-in-law Ted gave the blessing. A religious man, he is well known in the family for his deep beliefs in Catholicism. Nevertheless, he paid a fitting homage to Bunny. After mentioning God at one point, he looked down at her gravesite and said, “if you believe in God.” His courtesy brought tears to my eyes and, I have no doubt, a chuckle from Bunny.
We each placed a flower on the grave and paused to remember our dear cousin.
After the graveside service we retired to the Norton Country Club and had a wonderfully relaxed lunch. People spoke a few words. A guitarist played softly in the background. We ate, drank, toasted, and hugged. The only downside of the day was a washed out Powerpoint show of Bunny pictures, dozens of them, from every stage in her life. The room was too bright, the projector too dim. But never mind, it was easy enough to go forward and sit for a spell, watching the images go by on the laptop. It was there that I caught Bunny’s “baby” sister Carol, with her daughter Molly, sitting at the table, watching the cavalcade of Bunny’s life. But it wasn’t until I got home and looked at the picture that I realized what I caught. On the screen you can see Bunny and her sister Sally (who almost seems to be blowing a kiss at Carol) and faintly on the right side of the screen is Mary Helen. Three Gavin sisters, all smiling, all gone to the other side. Ghostly images looking back on their baby sister. How lucky we have been to know them all. ❧