Tomorrow we celebrate Ron Cassetti, my father-in-law. The place is buzzing after a month of planning and talk. All the stars in the process of lining up, and it should represent him well—and to his liking. The flowers are bought and parsed into vases. Mary is ready with a new dress, better health and the strength to take on this push. She is in command of the program, her guests, and the pacing of the day. Gloria, Rob and I have taken some off her plate so she can be on top of her game tomorrow. Gloria is welcoming her cousins (here from California) and friends—embracing that community. Alex and Sevi are planning and practicing their music. The guest book (a discrete matte black number) is purchased. The programs, printed. Rob is busy moving furniture and fluffing here and there. David is prepping and making the house look as good as it can. I am plating a bunch of food I ordered from the Regional Access and the store—so there is minimal cooking and maximal opening and styling. Nigel is being the wonder he is and helping in every vein including psychological. It should all be good.
I have been thinking about Ron’s last few days with us. He was sleeping a lot, but when he was awake, he was cheerful, comfortable and in the zone with us. However, as he got closer to the end, he would take little naps in between eating and getting up to sleep again. He was roused by Rob from one with his coming out of his haze saying that “this journey has many stops”. As Ron transitioned from one plane to the other, there were many stops—many stops we did not see and many we did. If we take that simple thought about our personal journeys having many stops—it is indeed true from the big ones of birth, death and that moment of awareness of yourself to the simple stops of coffee every morning, to the many trips to the grocery store or to the beach on vacation. The analogy of travel is lovely, linear and like time as we live it —but is that the trip Ron was on. Was he traversing the gradient, gradually moving from one place to another— leaving one behind, accepting the transition and finally understanding where he was moving to, accepting that new place and gradually letting go of the old to grasp the new?
My grandmother, Mrs. Eddy, had trips as she aged, quietly leaving us and living in her mind— mentioning travel with here long dead sisters, and did we see the trunk at the end of her bed, ready for the adventures ahead.? Did we see her sisters who had been there? She was prepared and ready to go—leaving the dreary dullness of today for the new. Her life in her old body was not where she wanted to be, but free to travel on a boat with her two smart and chatty sisters, a trip for fun, a trip to be together a trip away from the here and into the next or the hereafter.
That journey with many stops is something we are on right now…and will continue either locked in the shells we inhabit on this plane, or in some other guise. We should embrace the adventure of simple things like coffee and conversation, to visions and vistas, to true travel both here to the store or out to the bigger world…registering all the little stops that make up a day, a week, a month, a year, a life…but not anticipiating the beyond—but taking comfort that this forward motion is something we need to accept. To go with the flow.