Sometimes the simplest things worked wonders for Samantha.
I went to writer’s group today. Our prompt was to write about what is yet to happen….here’s what I came up with.
My lovely friend Alissa treated me to all-you-can-eat sushi last night.
My friend Cora sent this to me…..
Along with this message….
I’ve included as an attachment a picture of something we made at the beach in memory of your beautiful daughter. Made with some of the many shells at the beach, it struck me that even the broken shells and the simplest shells at the shore are creations of exquisite beauty, with their own stories to tell…..
Lil’ Miss has left a ginormous void in our world. But these thoughts and messages of love are little sprinklings of life…
El Santuario de Chimayo receives almost 300,000 visitors a year and has been called “no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States.”
During holy week alone, 30,000 people make the pilgrimage… many walk from Albuquerque; 90 miles away.
We chose to drive from Taos but that didn’t make the journey any less exciting.
We started out journey at 3:30 giving us two hours before our dinner reservations.
But we got lost…..
I think it might be a requirement that any place worthy of a pilgrimage must be out of the way, difficult to find and on several curvy mountain roads leaving one quite green and slightly nauseated upon arrival.
It was a beautiful drive…..I know this because I was very focused on the horizon in order to prevent a pre-pilgrimage bout of car sickness.
At 5:30 we were still in car. We were on the right road but stuck in construction traffic.
Our dinner reservations were at 5:30 and the sanctuary closed at 6:00.
I was cranky, nauseous and my mother was driving.
“Forget it,” I said. “We don’t need to go to the church. Let’s just go to dinner. I need a margarita.”
“You need to go to the church. We need holy dirt.”
My mother is not Catholic. My mother is Lutheran…..and not a very good one at that. BUT my mother is a very spiritual person and the Chimayo Sanctuary is a very spiritual place and the dirt at Chimayo is known for it’s healing, miraculous properties.
My mother is also very determined.
We bounced up the dirt road and into the sanctuary at 5:45. I ran up to the doors, stopped at the entrance and took a deep breath….we made it.
Inside are photos, prayers, crutches and pictures of those healed by the Chimayo earth. Candles lit the parameter. I picked up a candle for Samantha and sat down to say a prayer.
Odd, I don’t quite know what to pray for anymore.
And so I sat there….waiting for something inspirational to hit me….perhaps waiting for a miracle.
And then the lights went out.
Perhaps I should pray that I do not get locked in for the night.
Apparently El Santuario de Chimayo closes at 5:55, not 6:00.
I found Mom in the holy dirt room. Holy dirt room is an adobe room with a hole in the floor where you can scoop out the blessed dirt. The church replaces 30 tons of blessed dirt a year.
Some people eat the dirt. Some people rub themselves in it. Some people take it home and place it in their blessing bowl for good juju.
Mom was in the dark of the room, filling a baggie with holy dirt.
“Mom,” I said. “I think we have plenty.”
“You have friends who might need this.”
Why yes, yes we do.
We made it out of the dark of the room to find the front door locked from the outside. For as lovely as the sanctuary is, I really didn’t want to spend the night. Fortunately a very nice watchman let us out.
We joined the rest of our ladies for a much needed margarita.
I am posting from Santa Fe….
I left hubby in Loveland to hold the house down and water the garden….
I am using this time as a soul-searching, time-to-contemplate couple of days.
Today I walked out to the pool, sat in the sun and read a book.
I also watched the clouds and would look for faces and images in the sky; some I liked and some I didn’t, some seemed menacing and some comforting but they all changed as the wind blew in….
all the images changed.
I miss her and keep searching for her in simplest of places…a flower, a butterfly, an image in a cloud, a smell.
The finality of what we have lost is starting to settle in.
Here are some things you should know…
I did not ride the Courage Classic.
Samantha’s memorial service was on that Saturday and I did not have the heart or the energy to ride Sunday or Monday.
But her team did….
I LOVE that they rode. And I love the thought, enthusiasm and love they put into riding in memory for our girl.Fully decked out….
This picture just gets to me…..the power and devotion of our team….our Team Samantha. What would we do without you all???
Even Grandpa Jim wore full pink and green Samantha bling….and he looked good 🙂