Sunday, August 5, 2012

"In the words of a great Southerner I cotton to that..."

It took three weeks for my mother in law to cross over.  When we as a family were going through it, juggling the toddler, my job as a cosmetologist, the Temple building (newly acquired), our marriage, children, Temple seemed so much longer.  Then, Mamie drew her last breath.  It seemed very quickly everything sped up.  Services had to be arranged, songs had to be chosen, clothing had to be purchased, bills had to be settled, flowers had to be ordered, pictures sorted through....and we went to New Albany Mississippi to rent a hotel room and be present for the viewing of the body.

As we were slogging through all of it (three weeks of uncertainty and whens hospitals, etc), Elders constantly checked on us calling to listen and offer their emotional support.  Best friends and wonderful women came by and checked on us, or called keeping our spirits us and the Temple rolling forward....because life does not slow down for passages of life it just keeps on moving because that is what life has to do.  Life is organic, living, and breathing, it does not care if we tell it that it ceases to exist.  For it exists whether we see it or not.

Michele (the Temple squire) and Angela (my buddy and maiden) came and baby sat Cayden so that he did not have to go to the funeral and could remember Grandmother as a wonderful funny woman alive and full of energy.  I questioned this decision many times but the bottom line was we had to do business things and Cayden is a little obstructive in that arena.  So he will remember his Grandmother as a story teller and always laughing. 

At the funeral, people from all around came in and laughed and signed books.  Some cried, because they were so shocked and this is how we express our pain either laughter or crying.  I did some of both.  Brian did most of the latter.  My husband was stoic; he has already buried his Father and his older Brother and now his Mother.  Technically he is all alone, and has moved into the role of leader of his family.  Martin Heidegger said that one of the most transformational experiences in life you will ever go through is when you lose a parent.  I have never lost one, little on two.  I look at my husband differently gauging his moods, his tiredness, his gait, noticing how strong and broad those thin shoulders are and realizing he is the closest thing I know to a courageous hero.  He has survived and done so gracefully literally crossing over and dignifyingly laying to rest his whole family. 

When we got home, Rev. Belladonna Levaue, HPS and Dusty Dionne came in to spend time with us and to speak at the Temple the next day.  Laughter bubbled forth; great food was shared, we smiled, we hugged, we exchanged and learned.  They balmed our hearts, and did a great job bringing in people to the Temple so that they could see what we are really all about.  Rev. Amanda and Terry Riley came in from Jonesboro Arkansas with three car loads full of people coming to spend time with Bella, Dusty, and us.  Our house and Temple was overflowing with love...and this does not count all the regular Templites (this is what we call ourselves lovingly) who were there. They were alive, laughing, hugging, sharing, all together we were alive!

After everyone was gone, the house was cleaned, the trash taken out, the floors swept, we looked at each other still in shock but realized it had all been made better.  Our friends had become our family.  Somehow or the other the Gods of the Temple and our personal deities (ISIS, ANUBIS, THOTH, OSIRIS, SEKHMET, PTAH, ODIN) had all come to our side.  We were not alone; we did not have to slog through problems alone, deal with grief alone, take care of business without assistance, make sure our child was loved without hands to hold him, bury a Mother/Mother in law without a tribe of people guiding us....

In New Albany Mississippi I met Brian's blood relatives, and many of mine came to pay respect to Mamie Miller.  It is said down here that "blood is thicker than water"  technically yes it is.  Blood coagulates and water does not.  However here where I dwell we are Pagan to the bone, our organs and our blood is shared with many people and they are all Pagan; and this last week we needed water to feed our spirit not blood and the Gods provided.  Our community is thicker than our blood family and is there for us through thick and thin.  I pray that wherever you are that you look around you and take note.  Notice, those that are there for you when you need it...just a text message or a smile is sometimes all you need.  Some friends nudge you, some carry you, some buy you food, some text you, but they are all your support system...remember YOU are never alone.  YOU are loved. 

So this week, or just for today, look around you and notice the God and the Goddess they love you and they know that you are human and need something or someone you can feel and touch...that is why they sent you friends.  Cherish your friends, and thank the Goddess for them. 

Thank you for the gift of your time!  Thank you Templites, SDCW, fellow clergy, and Rev. Bella and Dusty for being there; you were the physical love of the Gods for me this past week.


  1. I sat here crying reading this Sonya. I am so thankful for all of you in my life. Was just thinking the other day about how I'm so far away and seperated from my "blood " family but am surrounded by an overwhelming amount of love and support from my chosen family. Xoxoxoxoxo I love you all more than I can say in words and I hope that I show all of you everyday how much you mean to me

  2. I am so sorry for your loss but very happy that you had such a wonderful support system. I thank the Goddess a dozen or more times a day for the family and friends I have. Blessings on you and your family always, June

  3. Jenn you are one of the most amazingly gifted women I know. You are a wonderful mother, a great worker, a beautiful cook, talented is a word that cannot define you. In fact, your personality cannot be contained in that beautiful body and brain of blessed I am to have had you dance into my life!

  4. @ Chefette Thank you for your sincere and warm wishes...Blessings on you and yours June

  5. Sonya, my husband and I are so sorry for your loss. I am thankful you have so many caring and wonderful people in your life. The temple is such a wonderful place. We are enduring a very stressful times and would like to tell you how much we appreciate all you have done for us. we keep you in our thoughts. jackie mcknight