Along with my sister, who still lives in Tahoe, we bought pale lilac colored gladiolas (my mom’s favorite color and flower) and drove over to the Happy Homes Cemetery to place them on her grave. We stood by the graveside in the beautiful Tahoe sunshine and talked and laughed and remembered. My sister remembered how our summer days at the Lake were filled with people visiting from near and far, picnics on the beach, hikes into the mountains, and making room for lots of extra guests. We were awed by how Mom was always jovial and welcoming when the hordes descended.
Both my parents are gone now, but I never think of them with sadness. I think of the fun, charmed, and adventurous life they provided while I was growing up, and for the legacy of hard work and simplicity they taught. All the lessons have served me well.