Jim and Deanna invite anyone who would like to and who is physically able, especially personal friends and former workers and community of Pearly Gates, to gather at Pearly Gates between 1 PM and 1:30 PM for a short "hippie eclectic" blessing of Myrna's ashes and walking procession across the footbridge to Lowe Mill, about a 15 minute walk. At 1:30 Jim and Deanna will lock the door of Pearly Gates and carry Myrna's ashes from Pearly Gates to her final party and memorial event at Lowe Mill. This is not an orthodox Buddhist funeral procession, which would be silent. This procession, morel ike a New Orleans Jazz Funeral Second Line, may include singing, chanting, bells, drums, incense, prayer flags, sage--- as the spirit moves you.
Myrna's son Jim states: "I will be at Pearly at 1pm to open the door and meet folks. This will be informal or formal for those who wish to be what they are. You're allowed to get freaky and jiggy and silly and sappy and serious and sad all at the same time."
Others can greet the procession on the Lowe Mill side, but they will be way too early for the party. The work of set up starts at 2. Doors open to the public at 4.
And here are some more personal notes, things I've been doing and thinking about Myrna: (Chatting with my sister, I asked if it was good karma or bad form to be looking forward to this upcoming gathering as a major social event? She assured me it was all good to be celebrating life.) :)
While at Pearly a couple days ago, from the few jewelry bits and baubles on display, I bought a bracelet. I'd actually been admiring it for quite a while, and now it seemed right to have something tangible to remember Myrna by. The bracelet is made from round red glass "eye" beads linked in a silver setting. (I prefer to think of the symbol as being for wisdom and protection, rather than just denoting avoidance of the "evil eye") It just fits my wrist, is very comfortable and quite pretty. I think it's going to be a wear-always piece for me for a while.
I decided to bake two cakes to take to the potluck portion of the memorial celebration. One is my usual sort of sugary confection (a white--well, palest pink- layer cake made with sour cream and strawberry-mint greek yougurt). To celebrate Myrna's HIPPIE roots, the buttercream frosting will be in a tye-dye pattern. :) The second cake is a "natural foods" dessert, a Black Bean Chocolate Cake with Avocado Frosting, not vegan but gluten free and more nutritious (and hopefully tasty too). Myrna was a good cook; I wish I'd been around when there was a restaurant as part of Pearly, but that was before my time in Alabama. She was my kind of "flexible vegetarian", liked to cook and eat healthy, but didn't eschew an occassional sweet treat or a tasty bite of something non-veggie.
I donated two memorial books to the (Decatur) library, a copy of the RABBITS WEDDING for the children's department, and a copy of the photo essay nonfiction book THE MULE TRAIN: A JOURNEY OF HOPE REMEMBERED (in which Myrna is interviewed) for the Alabama Room collection. Since I was preparing a library display for Martin Luther King Day, I included a copy of a nice article the Huntsville Times had run about Myrna's life and activism, along with the library books about King and Civil Rights.
B. related that Deanna had told him she had seen Myrna's ghost the other day, helping to locate an item she was looking for in the aisles at Pearly Gates. I like the idea of that. :)