Happy All Souls Day, everyone! When I walked in to work today, MeCHA had a fabulous Day of the Dead display out, which reminded me of one of my favorite NPR commentaries ever, in Halloween of 2001. The speaker talked of how in Mexican and other cultures, they bring food for the deceased at this celebration. She spoke of how in memory of the 9/11 victims, she would be setting out rice, which is as close to a universal food as there is. It spoke to me, of course, on several levels, but mostly because my mother had also died that month, and so many of my mother's memories were tied up with food also. So since then, when I have gone to the cemetary, I have tended to bring pretzels or chocolate chip cookies instead of flowers. I figure at least they feed the squirrels instead of ending up in a landfill.
Meanwhile, it's interesting to listen to it again, in finding it for this post, and seeing what a teeny piece of the original I actually remembered. Yet of the hundreds of news stories I've heard since 2001, that one stuck with me enough to seek it out seven years later. I thank Susan Straight from here in the blogosphere for such a moving piece. (Who knew she had novels? The internet is a wonderful thing. I'll have to put them on my list. Right there with all the other 58 books on my list.)
In other bloggy gems, for those of you who are Catholic, don't miss my friend Rocco's post, To Be A Saint, in honor of the Holy Day of Obligation (oops) yesterday. It's powerful and inspiring and humbling all at once.