I had this dream of Gurumayi the other night. I had put some fresh silks at my mother’s grave. They were roses and some pinks and purples. The fellow at the flower shop, the florist, made a nice arrangement. It was cold in his shop. If you know Ward’s in Gainesville, Florida, he is right across the street. I was urged to buy flowers out in the country but I preferred in town. I felt the need to drive right back to the cemetery and place the silks.

The Melrose Cemetery where mom is buried next to dad was probably once an all white cemetery. There are many confederate soldiers monuments as you enter. My grandmother on my father’s side is buried there. She was a nice old lady who made cowboy shirts for me and dad and others of us young ones. She was a good seamstress. She died in 1963 when my father was having an eye operation for a detached retina. The news of his mother’s passing caused him to lose vision in that eye. The terrible mistakes we can make when tragedy strikes. So, I have been going to the cemetery and wondering where Mrs. Bryan was. Mrs. Bryan was what mom called her. Mom liked Mrs. Bryan, the old man’s mom. I came across a map of the cemetery, known as the Eliam Cemetery and looked over by the Eliam Baptist Church, I suppose.

Our neighbors, mom’s and mine who lived in Melrose on Canal Shores as it became known, Al and Jean Vaught, are buried there. They were nice folks. Young to mom, older to me. A retired reverend and his wife. Dad was still alive when they moved in and Rev. Vaught was very kind to dad whose eyesight had faded even more in the decades since his eye operation. He also had skin cancer then which I suppose Rev. Vaught understood was difficult for him better than I. I was dad’s constant antagonist. I had no understanding of any of his pain and I suspect he had none of mine.

I had never put a flower at dad’s grave but this day, the anniversary of my mom’s passing away after a 4 week struggle with a stroke I put the silks that were on my mother’s grave on his and replaced those with the fresh ones I bought in town. I was surprised to see how fresh the silks were that I had put on mom’s grave before. I had found them in the storage place that is neighboring the cemetery, Melrose Mini Storage. They had been stowed away with so many other things when I finally had to sell the house. They were still in good shape. Putting those silks on the old man’s grave made their whole relationship look respectable and why shouldn’t it? That was life. They lived together. What can you say? Men drink, they are violent and they use vulgar language. A lot of men never graduate the 8th grade, at least a lot of men born in 1910 I suppose, and I liked to think that I had parents, not just one parent, but parents in the plural and it doesn’t matter if one parent didn’t help me so much and the other helped a whole hell of a lot. Maybe thinking of the friend of my father’s who came down from Philadelphia and needed mom’s help with his banking and left her a trust when he died as a reward, a trust that finally turned over to the Masonic Lodge when mom died, maybe that was why I deigned be so kind as to cover up the old man’s nakedness, as there was nothing on his grave and you could see his dates showing, you know, June 10, 1910 – January 17, 1992.

The silk I put on mom’s grave was a lovely pink rose. Maybe it was supposed to be red. The pinks the good florist added were pinker than the rose and then the purples, mom’s favorite color she once told me, added some extra beauty. I thought about the pink of mom’s vault. I had wondered if that was smart of me to let it be pink, maybe some stronger color as many treated her as a strong woman. She had strong values but she wasn’t really a strong woman in the sense that many women are. She couldn’t swim and she couldn’t ride a bike. Yeah, so she was dressed up fine as she might have been if someone really thought about funerals and the last days and eulogies and such. I dressed her in some rather common clothes, purple looking but closer to blue really and a red hat because mom was one of those red hatters. They came to the funeral. They and the Eastern Star women who performed some kind of rite there at her grave.

The other night I had a dream of Gurumayi and it was a big gala of an event though not so exuberant as in Hollywood with the drinking and all, this was holiness. I remember Gurumayi, in the dream, offering this flower and reflecting on this nice dream when I awoke it seemed quite like the silk flower I put at mom’s grave. It was like Gurumayi offering mom’s flower to God so that her path in the afterlife may be safe and blessed. It was a nice dream. There were masses of devotees dressed in a burnt orange and many women, kind young women yet not particularly interested in romantic love at the time, more in serving God and the Guru. So many people and when Mayi offered the rose it was like there was a golden light. I wondered later if this was some kind of hologram, some technology or something. I was only because I was distant from it. I’ve seen that holy golden light before and I hope to see it again, but to me, it’s complicated.

I’ve been watching a lot of Gurumayi’s tapes and dvd’s that I have collected over the years. In one Mayi says Baba was asked “what should I do about one who has passed away that they may be secure in the afterlife” ( I am paraphrasing as I must) and Baba said “repeat the mantra.” I remember chanting a little lately, oh yes, it was Jyota se Jyota. It is so familiar at that center in Gainesville but totally unknown to the working people out in the country. That helps it a little bit if there is not some great antipathy toward all things eastern, if people just don’t really know. I play my tapes enough and the songs become easier to sing.

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