palm sunday

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Yesterday was the day we brought Cynthia’s ashes to the Nye-Seavey plot at Fairview cemetery in Westford, Mass. Kate and I drove there with her ashes in the beautiful blue and white vase we know she loved and which Kate had given her once. Everything was ready when we arrived about 2pm. Kate placed the vase in the spot designated on a large green rug in front of the Nye-Seavey stone. She placed a small flower from Cynthia’s wisteria plant on top of the vase. The day was cloudy but warm and muggy. The ten of us gathered around and Richard gave an introduction and a reading. Then I read two poems. The End by Mark Strand was one of Cynthia’s favorites, and On Pilgrimage by Czeslaw Milosz she read at her Palm Sunday service in 2006. Others of us made various comments and Richard closed the service with a beautiful poem that was so appropriate for Cynthia and that I know she would have loved. He’ll send me a copy of this [see below]. As we left I took my final look at the beautiful blue and white vase, knowing of course that it will soon be underground and next to Mabel and Eddie forever. Most of us met afterwards at the British Beer Pub in Westford for refreshments, reminiscing and chatting.

If I should die (and die I must),
please let it be in spring,
when I, and life up-budding shall be one,
and green and lovely things shall blend with all I was
and all I hope to be.
The chemistry of miracle,
within the heart of love
and life abundant,
shall be mine.
And I shall pluck the star-dust,
and shall know the mystery within the blade,
and sing the wind’s song in the softness of the flowered glade.

(from In Spring, George C. Whitney)

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My dear wife, Cynthia, who I seem to miss more and more as time goes on, gave a wonderful passionate sermon once about her great love for gardens and landscaping. This was on Palm Sunday at the Norway, Maine, UU church on April 9, 2006. The other day while driving to Norway and trying to imagine and hear in my mind the sound of Cynthia’s lovely well modulated voice, it occurred to me that a tape of the April 9, 2006, service may still exist. Kevin Farr happened to be at the church so I asked him. Two minutes later he was back with the tape which I later gave to Kate. A few days later she presented me with a wonderful CD of the entire service. What fun I’m having listening to this! On first listening I could not stop the tears from flowing.

For a copy of her sermon see here.

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