Yesterday we held a memorial in honor of my mom, Anita Toscano. Well over 500 people jammed into the pub and restaurant that my parents owned for over 32 years and sold two years ago right before my mother was diagnosed with cancer.
She did not want a wake, funeral or burial. Rather she chose to be cremated. She knew we needed something to say good-bye, so she said we could have a memorial service. Most who attended did not know what to expect. No church, no dour ceremony, no ritual. (In fact, it was so packed that the priest could not elbow his way into the dinning room.) We simply gathered and shared stories, memories, and lessons learned.
Then we ate and drank like my mother would want us to do–for hours! The party spilled out onto the street and to the house across the street. Sure we cried some, (okay a lot) but we laughed much more.
One family friend who used to work in the restaurant said she imagines my mom finally relaxing ordering the celestial staff around. The angels don’t know what hit them.
Thank you for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers. I felt very much supported through this time. I am doing well, getting ready to fly to London tomorrow for three weeks in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.
Below are photos of my mom from when she was age 16 until a few weeks before she died. She has beautiful soulful eyes and a mischiveous smile.