I don’t think this is flora or fauna or local custom, but Austin thinks you will all want to see it, so I am putting it out as a special edition. This is what we did this morning in honor of our friend Patti who lived here half the year for the past two years. Our memorial was running (more or less) concurrently with her funeral in California.
Here at the farm we cleaned and decorated the truck
And Monica decorated the the first of 3 cakes
Then we went to pick up Vina and Indu – and to go to the nearby Fijian village.
We went to the home of the preschool that Patti had set up, and they were ready with a very clean house, and a hand-lettered message “We all miss you dear Patty. Rest in peace.”.
We brought the photo and carried it with us.
At this house the focus of the memorial was on Patti’s creating the school and her love for the children. We had Christian and Baha’i prayers, and the children performed all of Patti’s favorites of their songs. This was followed by that cake and cookies and juice that the teachers had made. There were probably 30 or more people there, but only the ones involved with the school got in the photo.
Except my grandson Kiki – who always gets in a picture. Besides which, he really loved his Auntie Tatty.
Then a bunch of folks piled in the truck for the next stop for Patti’s memorial.
Next stop was the farm. Patti sat on Mount Carmel. The focus of this part of the memorial was Patti’s devotion to Baha’i service. Junia read the prayer that Patti prayed every morning for the success of her preschool, and we read the letter about Patti’s passing from the Universal House of Justice. Austin sang the famous song of Baha’i Scripture that Patti wrote the tune to, so many decades ago: Ye Are the Stars of the Heaven of Understanding. This was followed by more cake – and tea.
There were about 12 adults and 8 children here, and were about 20 people at each further stop. My photo taking kind of went downhill – there are more photos on Vina’s camera. Anyway …. next stop was Vina’s house.
I took Patti straight to “her” room, and put her on the special chair that Rakesh had bought for her on her last trip. Patti really loved the chair and the thoughtfulness behind it, and mentioned it in conversations with Vina. “Make sure Rakesh sits on my chair!”
The focus of this part of the memorial service was her love for Indians and Indian culture. (In fact Poova, her husband, is an Indian from Mauritius). We had Hindu and Baha’i prayers. Then teacher Kalara said Fijian grace over the delicious lunch: puri, curried cowpeas, curried potato, curried pumpkin, rice, dhal and farm-fresh scrambled egg.
We ended by singing the Fijian farewell song, Isa Lei, for Patti.
Last stop was Martin’s house, a short walk up a small hill from Vina’s.
Martin is a dear friend who unfortunately is sorely afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Patti would go pray with him every week when she was at Vina’s. He and his parents were happy to see us – the house was all clean and juice was ready.
Here are a few of the friends at this last stop. We all shared more memories of our sweet and lovely Patti. We drank juice and ate chocolates.
We ended by singing the unity prayer in Fijian. I noqu Kalou, i noqu Kalou, ni vakadua vatataka mada na utodra na nomuni tamata …. O my God, O my God, unite the hearts of Thy servants …
This was the truck at the end of the traveling memorial — getting ready to take everyone home — drying out, but still a little festive.
None of us had ever participated a “travelling memorial” before. So it will be a very memorable memorial, we are sure.
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