October 15, 2006

Death Anniversaries

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. I am posting it today for the memorial of Great-grandmother and Great-grandfather. He loved flowers. He passed away 13 years ago. I knew him, but never met his wife. She passed away 27 years ago.

We left the house early today to go to their memorial. We went to the Buddhist pastor's house. It also serves as a doujou (both "o"s are long) or meeting place. Baba kept using that word today when talking about going to the pastor's house. Groups or families go there to pray or hold memorials. I didn't take pictures there. It wasn't because they wouldn't let me. I didn't ask. Maybe I will go back someday to take pictures and ask questions.

During the memorial, we sat on the floor on our shins. Everyone chanted. It took a long time! It was really painful for everyone to sit like that. Some of the older aunts sat on very low chairs. After the chanting, tea and cakes and cookies were served.

When it was time to go, Little Brother jumped up, headed for the door, and said, "Quick, Mom, before someone takes your shoes by mistake!" He almost knocked down a few old aunties.

As you might remember from a summer post, my shoes were taken by mistake while we were touring a thatched-roof house. I told him not to worry. Everyone there was family.

We all went to a restaurant. That is the custom after a funeral or memorial. We have a meal in honor of the deceased. At the restaurant, there was a clerk to take our shoes from us. She clipped a number on one of our shoes and then gave us a plastic disc with the same number on it. There was a sign that apologized. The sign said there were many incidents of people taking the wrong shoes by mistake. It also said that shoes have a memory, so please be careful to take your own shoes.

By the way, we didn't go to the cemetery, but we threw salt on one another when we got home. That is a custom. The salt makes spirits go away if they follow you home from the cemetery or memorial.

For some reason, this picture was printed twice so I will leave it. I think this is a Painted Lady.


Susan said...

Thank you for sharing about the memorial service. I enjoyed learning about it. And, thank you for the pictures of the asters. I am missing fall flowers. My mother has large aster clumps-- they look like bushes.

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

I remember missing cool weather fruits when I lived in Malaysia. Very few were available and they were expensive.
More fall color to follow in the posts...thanks for your comments and your support!