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Blossom Do Good

Hello friends and neighbors. I would like to share a story with you ... the story of my life. As many of you know, I had my 50th High School Reunion in Oakland, New Jersey in September. Being part of the planning committee I had worked long and hard to make this reunion fun and memorable for everyone. I left Upton on a Thursday morning with a mixture of trepidation and joy. First I worried about New York area traffic, would I find the hotel, would I remember people, would they remember me? We they LIKE ME? I found my way just fine, stopped by my old house to see that they had made a McMansion of our little split; it actually looked like a giant marshmallow and was the largest house on the street, looming up over the hill.

I found the hotel, checked in and waited for my New Jersey cousins to come meet me for dinner. We went to the Oakland Diner ... whoowee has it been updated .. loved it. So back at the hotel later that night I logged onto Facebook to let people know that I had arrived and the hotel was great. Bing Bing Bing rang my computer as several classmates popped in to say they were already there too, having flown in from California, North Carolina, Florida. YIPPEE tomorrow morning at breakfast we will start the re-uning.

It was great fun, and a total of 55 classmates showed up. The rest of the weekend was perfect ... from the football game Friday night, to the Dinner Dance Saturday night and the brunch Sunday morning. And then it was time to hug and kiss and say goodbye and promise to meet again in 5 years.

So Sunday around noon I began the rest of my adventure, moving around the circle of my life. I was actually born on Long Island, so I was going to visit places and people I knew and loved. Crossing over the George Washington Bridge was a great memory, but now it had 2 levels ... WOW whatta lotta traffic! I followed my IPhone directions precisely and negotiated the Cross Bronx Expressway, Throgs Neck Bridge and out to Long Island. I remembered the trips as a kid and said hello to Brooklyn where dad and his family were born, to the Bronx where my aunt lived for 47 years in the same apartment within earshot of Yankee Stadium. When I saw the sign that said welcome to Jones Beach I got downright weepy as I had lived only 20 minutes away from that magnificent piece of beach and ocean for most of my childhood. I stopped in Wantaugh and visited with the next generation of cousins ... what a fun and happy bunch they are.

Then my oldest cousin John and I said it was time to head to his house, out to the East End of Long Island, to Jamesport on the North Fork. My uncle had bought a summer cottage there the year I was born and John still owned the house over 60 years later. Jamesport is my real home, my holy ground, my roots, because Jamesport is where the Pecks went to play my whole entire life. With the Great Peconic Bay just a ½ mile down the road, and the Long Island Sound a mile in the other direction, we also had a lovely little fresh water lake called Laurel Lake where we took a bar of ivory soap and washed off the salt water at the end of the day.

So here I was back at Jamesport, just John and me, and I had time to do some quiet reflection on my life and my loves. I have made a decision recently that I wish to be cremated and buried in a pod with some tree seeds. Rather than rot away in a box I want to flower and bloom and give branches to the birds and oxygen to the people. But where to be buried? Now was the time to ask.

"John," I said rather hesitantly, "this is my plan for the end of my life." And I told him the story. Then I asked the question "Can I be buried here, in Jamesport, in the back yard where we played as kids and sang as adults?"

"Why yes of course you can, Merri (my Jamesport-given nickname)". I was home!

As I rode the ferry back to Massachusetts the next day I looked out over the water and remembered my entire lifetime with joy and thanksgiving. And now I could continue my life and whatever adventures are still in store for me, knowing full well where my final resting place will be.

May you all have as much peace about the end of your circle of life as I do. Namaste


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