How We Guide Our Parents Home

On January 12th, I spend most of the day honoring my Daddy. It's the day he left this earth, too early for my wanting or liking. He was my best buddy. The dude. 

Daddy taught me how to change the oil in the car. He taught me to start lawn mowers and chain saws a little early in life. I loved motors, as much as I loved Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Dolls. He gave me a garden when I was 2, not that I knew how to do much with it other than eat dirt I'm sure. 

Last year, I made promises to my dad on his death day. This year, I just want to keep this little homage short and sweet, almost exactly how we left him when he released his last breath. 

On the day my dad died, snow fell heavy on Minnesota. He died around 2 in the afternoon. I studied Ayurveda for years, so we did our own short Shiva of sorts since he would be cremated later that night. Earlier that day, I had gone to the coop in town and bought Sesame Oil, Rose, Myrrh, and Frankincense oils. There were about 15 of us surrounding him when he died. Within minutes of his death, we took warm wash cloths and cleaned his body. In Ayurveda, it preps the soul for moving from the physical plane to the spiritual plane. Then one by one, we took a limb or part of the body and applied sesame and essential oils and as we massaged his body we told him why we loved him and the good he gave to us. Who knows what we prepped him for, but he was leave this planet smelling good and in style. We sang a song to him, collectively, once we finished. 

A Buddhist poem I learned in my early 20's: 
May the long time sun shine on you  
All Love surround you  And the pure light within you
Guide your way home

With the heavy snow, he stayed with us for 5 hours and we all got drunk. When he was picked up, all you could hear was snow falling. Then my momma, in her Cajun style, sang one last, "Happy Trails to You." Watching him roll away for a final time was surreal. No words, just big feelings. 

I will continue to work on my promises to you Daddy, but this year those are between you and I. I hope you visit with Momma and Jennifer more this year, meet James in his dreams and fly around to the places you love. Who knows, maybe you're a dog finally. I hope wherever you are that your soul is at rest and happy. 

I love you with all my heart. 
Always and Forever,