Monday, October 28, 2013

our day of the dead


Yesterday our family, 13 of us in all including one boyfriend, gathered for our version of Day of the Dead, Dia de Muertos. We made tissue paper flowers, crafted garlands, watched football, cooked, and ate jalapeno poppers, guacamole, salad, fajitas, and chocolate cake. We played basketball and foosball, made dry-ice smoke, and lost and found one cell phone. We had our ritual of writing something we want to let go of on a little piece of flash paper and taking turns lighting it and tossing it high and seeing it disappear before our very eyes. And we remembered and laughed and cried.

I like going to the china hutch-turned-altar we created for our loved ones gone to the Great Beyond. Lifting the black tulle veil; lighting the candles; holding mementos -- a scissors, a pincushion; looking at photos -- seeing our little boy riding his big wheels and my mom standing beside the boy's bike she won in a contest in 1960; looking into the eyes of grandmothers and a great-grandmother to see if I can see myself.

Today is a moonday in Virgo. It's recommended to intentionally create relaxation and pleasure on Virgo days -- there is a tendency to overdo and slip into the mode of all work and no play. The moon continues to wane and Halloween, All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day will occur under the dark moon.

I'm hoping for clear nights and bright stars this week.


14 comments:

handstories said...

Such beautiful photos of photos, memories and love.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

What a great family gathering, remembering loved ones, getting rid of bad ones. Beautiful entry.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

Oops!!! I didn't mean get rid of bad family members, I mean letting go of bad memories:)

Peggy said...

Cindy & Kathy, thank you so much. People either love things like this or they hate it. And I knew what you meant, Kathy! ;)

Ms. said...

Your family and friends make so much good sense...I might take the advice of moon day in Virgo about doing something pleasurable, as well as letting go...the Google thing is truly annoying...still can not access my email...but blogger is working and maybe the rest will follow, or some one will come to help me through the new snafu....meanwhile...I'm going to the Metropolitan museum to see what I can before they start activating their new ability to impose a mandatory charge instead of the 'pay what you will' option...the day is 56 degrees and clear....so thanks again for the reminder, and for stopping over at my blog to comment dear Peggy. You have a calming effect on me.

Nancy said...

Those candles are something! And the boy in the blue sweater, looking out at us...
What a blessing to have a day like this with family, filled with love and memories and time well spent.
Thinking of you.

Nanette said...

Peggy, I loved reading about your day of celebration, memories of your loved ones and the love and companionship of your family. We don't have anything like this in Australia, and it intrigues and fascinates me. Not meaning to pry, but I am curious as to how you decided to celebrate it, and did it take much convincing to get all your family on board?

Peggy said...

Michelle, thank you -- I hope you had a great day yesterday! Sounds like you figured out how to deal with Virgo, all right.

Peggy said...

Nancy, the boy in blue is my little son Corty who passed one week before his 7th birthday. It makes me feel good that you noticed him.

Peggy said...

Nanette, thank you so much. We borrow from the Mexican tradition of remembering our dead, but you could easily make your own ancestor altar and day of remembrance at a time that is meaningful for you and your family. We started this after my little boy died of leukemia. It was all we had left, his toys and clothes and photos. We continued to include other loved ones' photos and mementos as they passed, and it's just evolved over the years. Our way of remembering has grown along with our other four kids as they grew up. My youngest doesn't remember her brother, so this is all she has -- it's still all any of us have. But the connecting is good and the sadness is fleeting. We're so fortunate to have had these people in our lives and to be able to remember and reminisce together now.

Nanette said...

Thankyou for telling me this Peggy...what a wonderful way to remember your loved ones...I'm sad to hear you lost your boy Corty when he was so little, but you and your family have found a beautiful way to remember and celebrate him together. I did know of Day of the Dead, and thought it was Mexican...I was visiting in San Francisco once with my daughter, during Day of the dead, and as she lived in the Mission, a very Hispanic area, it was very much in evidence. I loved it all, the decorations, and the very public honouring of their ancestors. it's beautiful you do this too.

Nat Palaskas said...

You are so romantic Peggy. I love your Halloween family get together, sound fun. Moonday in Virgo, that's me. I will try not to overdo it this month hehe! Hugs Nat

Peggy said...

Nat, take care, you Virgo you.

Nancy said...

Yes, Peggy I remembered that! He is always in the hearts of those who knew/loved him...and now in the hearts of your readers too!