Now that I’ve processed a little bit: I got a phone call from my dad yesterday morning that my Grandma, Betty Krueger, had passed. (Thom and I are now officially out of grandparents :/) She’s been touch and go for a couple of years, was in her 90s, and lived a very good life. So while there is grief and sorrow, there is also lots of joy to remember.
She is one of the main people who helped me manage through my first year at college, away from all my family and friends that I knew. We wrote letters back and forth (like actual, real-live, snail-mail letters!) and sent each other little things we found: newspaper articles, post-cards, pictures. She sent me super comfy and fluffy shoes right as the weather turned cold. She shared stories about her time in school. She was progressive for her time, and went to college and traveled abroad. She sent me some postcards she’d collected from when she visited Greece in her 20s 😉
I’ll probably be heading down for the memorial in Mississippi in a few weeks, though a date hasn’t been chosen yet. Some prayers for me and mine would be very welcome. It’s weird to feel out of words, and out of prayers, but some things, like this, are harder to do for yourself than they are for others.
Ancestors, light the fires along the way,
To brighten the path as Betty travels.
Prepare the hall for a great feast,
To welcome her when she arrives.
Show her the way, and where to drink,
And guide her in this new role.
Watch over her as she makes this transition,
As she begins this new adventure.
On the 5th day of the month of Boedromion Genesios is celebrated. It is a feast to honor the dead, the ancestors. Originally the plan was to celebrate this feast with the Delos, but since moving it’s been difficult to drive up to Columbus as often as I’d like. So Thom and I decided to celebrate here at home. He’s been a real sport with the Hellenic rites, since I know he doesn’t feel much from the Olympian Gods; he’s much more in tune with the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Tonight Thom and I did our first Core Order of Ritual by ourselves. It was very brief in and of itself. I asked Hermes to be the gate keeper since he can function as the guide of souls. I don’t usually work with him, though I have felt a relationship just beginning to bud recently. The omens I took asked for advice from the Ancestors. I pulled Xi, Khi, and Iota. I interpreted it to mean that the Ancestors were reminding us that in order to succeed we must put in the work. We need to plan and labor, but we will have great success if we do. One of the reasons our rite itself was so short was because in feasting with our Ancestors, we wanted to go back downstairs, so we breezed through the main part of the rite. I think my phrasing was something like “Ancestors, we’re here to honor you tonight, to socialize and tell stories, and to introduce you to another member of the family, however, we don’t want to burn the house down, so we’re gonna tie up this portion of the ritual and we’ll meet you downstairs for food and alcohol.” It was kind of silly feeling, but also seemed like the smart thing to do, and the family didn’t seem to mind.
The plan that Thom and I had was to each pick an ancestor and tell a story about them, and then introduce them to the other. We ended up telling stories for nearly an hour and sharing in the memories and good company. It was a lot more emotional that I was expecting, though I think I should have expected it. I offered ice cream to my grandpa, and Thom offered beer to his. We each met some of the other side of our new family, and learned some things about one another that we didn’t know before.
I definitely want to keep doing rites at home with Thom. Though we occasionally frustrate each other in these situations, it is also very bonding and healing. I think I would like having some time set aside for us where we can continue to visit with our Ancestors, and begin the process of introductions and co-mingling. All in all, the rite went well, and I’d do it again.