On Thanksgiving morning we spread my Mom's ashes at a beach near Marina del Ray. The sun was shining, the views of Los Angeles were beautiful from there as you could see the mountains surrounding the waters edge in the distance.
We all walked down to the beach and laid her to rest at the shore. After all, she was a California girl at heart. Growing up in Bakersfield and going to college at both Berkely and UCLA. Settling down in Bel Air when she was pregnant with me.
You never know what to expect in life. It is a long road that takes many strange turns. If it wasn't for my father, there is no doubt that my mother would have never left California. She would have raised all of us in Los Angeles and I am sure we would be very different people today. But it didn't turn out that way, my father got a job at University of Michigan after getting his PHd at UCLA and off we went to the cold town of Ann Arbor that had many inches of snow on the ground when we landed. I am sure that was the beginning of the end of their marriage. It wasn't what she expected and the culture shock of being a professors wife in the midwest was not exactly what she had in mind with 3 kids in tow
We continued to move east never returning to Los Angeles to live although there was always an underlying threat that we were going to move back although we never did. Maybe that is one of the reasons I never felt connected to the DC area where we settled in when I was about 10. My parents got divorced, my mother remarried to an old time Washingtonian and that is where she stayed.
The good news is that I spent six months in Los Angeles doing an internship in college. My grandmother lived in Laguna Beach at that time. My sister came out to Los Angeles to work in the record business for many years at one point. My brother ended up moving out here about seven years ago with his family. I love having the connection to Los Angeles. I always feel at home here.
It has been almost a year since my Mom left us. The aftermath of her death is interesting for everyone in our family in a very different way. Not surprising as we all had a different relationship with her. My Mom always felt connected to California. Getting together on Thanksgiving which was her favorite holiday of the year is a must. It was the one holiday that she owned after my parents got divorced and she owned it in until she left us.
Going to the beach, on Thanksgiving, as a family and spreading her ashes into the sea on a pretty perfect California sunny day could not be a more fitting way to say goodbye.