Monday, February 21, 2011

On the Pier, Remembering Sally Scott

(l-r) Cordelia, Cathy, Mike, and Sharon

Our core family -- Michael, Cordelia and I -- walked out with Mike and Sally's lifelong friend Vernon Bowman to the end of the Ocean Beach Pier for a private memorial to remember our sister Sally. With us were Cordelia's husband, Bob Mendoza, Mike's wife Sharon, and Vernon's wife Sandy.

(l-r) Sandy, Vernon, Michael, Sharon
We had umbrellas with us, because it was raining. But as we reached the end of the pier and looked out into the deep blue ocean, near where a boat had weeks earlier gone out to sea with Sally's ashes, the rain suddenly stopped. As the memorial got underway, the sun came out. We couldn't help think that Sally was there with us, on the pier not that far from where Sally once lived in Ocean Beach.
Looking out to sea.
Bob and Cordelia
I read the poem "Stay Gold" by Robert Frost. He was Sally's favorite poet, and she typically referred to him as "Bobby Frost." Michael reminded us that when he was attending the University of Redlands, Frost had gone to the campus to talk informally with students. Mike had invited Sally, and she met Frost in person. Sally kept Frost's Leaves of Gold book on her dresser when we were kids. So it was special to read the following poem at her memorial:
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Then, each of us took a red rose and pulled the petals, one by one, and dropped them into the ocean. As we did that, we played Stevie Wonder's song, "Stay Gold." The rose petals covered the water and then slowly moved out to sea.
Sally in the Laguna Mountains
Another poem that Sally enjoyed was "Feed Thy Soul" by poet Moslih Eddin. She taught me the lines when I was in junior high school. Her point in teaching it was to say, "Be good to yourself." I recited this verse at the memorial (which is a partly modernized version):
If of all thy worldly goods thou art bereft
And of thy store have but two loaves left
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
A little while later, once we had walked off of the pier and back to our cars, the rain started up again.  It marked the end of the memorial. Farewell, Sally -- sister, daughter, mother, grandmother, and dedicated employee of the FBI. You are missed.


Kristi said...

A simply, yet very personal and lovely memorial to Sally.
I'd like to think that the break in the weather was very symbolic...
Thank you for sharing the day.

Cathy Scott said...

Thanks, Kristi. Yes, very symbolic. Thanks for your kind words. --Cathy xo

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