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Last Will & Testament

Dear Diary,

 

Don’t bury me.

I do enjoy wandering through graveyards,

touching the crumbling stone,

reading the names and trying to imagine their faces and whispers of their lives.

 

But don’t put me here,

where someone is paid to tame the weeds and trim the grass,

ready for loved ones who rarely visit and move on with the cacophony of their lives.

 

I don’t want to be stuck in one spot.

I didn’t do that in life. I don’t want to do that in death.

 

Instead,

Burn me,

then fill my waiting angel figurines with my essence,

distribute them to my children, as an unassuming knickknack

on a shelf or bookcase amidst the breeze of their lives.

 

With the rest of me,

Spritz me on my favorite spots in life…

 

Columbus, Ohio, where I drew my first breath. Known to me only in faded black and white photographs, propped on my grandfather’s knee, face covered in ice cream or gently held by my grandmother in the handmade christening gown of my heritage.

 

Trenton, New Jersey, where I honed mud-pie skills, won a trophy in the town Independence Day parade, and kissed the neighbor’s boy.

 

Brighton, New York, where I taught myself to ride a bike by leaning against the playground’s chain-link fence, and sat on a freshly painted snowplow, ruining my favorite blue coat with the red trim.

 

Redmond, Washington, where I perfected the art of catching grasshoppers and toads, and entered into the realm of neighborhood chase games, skits and big wheel races.

 

Los Gatos, California, where my first action was to lay on the warm grass to soak up the California sun. I salted slugs and played endlessly at handball, 4-square, hopscotch and jump rope games.

 

Aptos, California, where I first realized the call of the sea striking the sand was entwined in my spirit, tasted the driving need to write and draw, had my first boyfriend and broken heart.

 

Fairport, New York, where I waited for the school bus in tremendous snowdrifts without wearing a hat or boots because it was uncool, learned to ski by flinging myself onto diamond trails, a plethora of parties, friends, deep infatuations, theater, dance and song.

 

Houston, Texas, where the sky was so high and the clouds so big. I was a Yankee serving Apple Brown Betty at a Texan steakhouse while chasing an art degree. Everything seemed possible. My dreams were as big as the state.

 

Athens, Ohio, where I raced the train across the tracks to get to class on time, and it lulled me to sleep at night. I capered across the cobblestone streets uptown in my college town, wearing short, flippy skirts, flats, and lacy ankle socks.

 

Northern Virginia, where most of my children were born and my teaching career began.

 

Orlando, Florida, where I chose as my home to answer the calling of the sea and sun, and give voice to my poetry and prose.

 

And finally, Edinburgh, Scotland, hometown of my ancestors, where upon stepping into the land and wandering through the abundances of closes, I too, felt strangely at home.

 

I have no single hometown to be buried.

I have many places I have lived, played, laughed, loved, cried, and prayed.

 

Sprinkle me, thus.

If it can be done.

When I am done.

 

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