Taking My Mom to Burning Man
In a few hours I will be picking my mom up from LAX airport and then in 4 days we will start our journey to the Black Rock Desert for the annual pilgramiage called Burning Man. But first, tomorrow, she will see where I work, tour the Museum of Tolerance which she has been supporting since its inception, and have a joyful lunch with the crew I have grown to love as family over the 4 years I have worked for Moriah Films. The #1 question I get from my friends is “How did you get your Mom to go to Burning Man?” Answer, I didn’t. This is all her idea. And how did it come to be.
My Dad died May 31, 2013. After the funeral/memorial, after all the family had gone back to their homes, after my siblings returned to their lives, I stayed in Corpus Christi, TX with my mom for 2 months while she transitioned from being married for 56 years to being a widow. On the very first dinner we had alone, just the two of us, sitting around the table I grew up sitting around, my Mom out of the blue made this statement, “I think I want to go to Burning Man. Not this year, but next year. 2014.” I was stunned, excited, and positively receptive to the idea. It was basically her first decision as an individual. Not having to confer with anyone. She met Dad at 16 and was married by 18. Fifty-six years of marriage means she went from her father’s home to my father’s home. For the next two months, very little was said about Burning Man. But we both knew, with excitement through our mourning, what was to come.
I did not go to Burning Man in 2013. Instead in honor of my father I built a 6 foot Cessna 401 airplane out of reclaimed cedar fence boards from a fence I replaced at my home. He loved flying, especially his Cessna 401 which he used to take us all on many adventures. Adventures, the spirit of which, I continue to take today. It burnt while the Temple burned on playa. Many people placed photos and moments, even ashes, from loved ones so that my father could fly all their wishes to the heavens. It was OUR Temple for 2013.
Right after Burning Man 2013, I told my Mom if she was serious about going in 2014 we needed to reserve our RV right now. Next thing I know the order was placed and the planning process has begun. So here we are 1 year and 2 months since she made that decision to go to Burning Man. In less then 3 hours she lands in LA and the adventure begins. But the adventure really began the minute she decided to go. Her adventure in shopping for clothing items, hats, shoes, odd things to gift and share, a special card she can gift to share her philosophy of abundant love. She started reading every article she could find about the event and the culture. She is ready. Ready to go. Ready to experience the art and community.
So much of who I am comes from my Mom. My place as a community leader, event production, organizational skills, public speaking, and my grace all are attributes that come from my Mom. And not to leave out, my looks. I look just like my Mom did at my age. And have always looked like my Mom did at each stage of her life. Including my tiny waste line. I am blessed that way. It is with GREAT pleasure to be her host on playa this year. She will be placing a memorial on the Temple in honor of her life partner, my Dad.
I will continue to post stories of our journey and even little videos. My Mom will also be doing some writing. If the internet connection is good on playa, I will post from the dust. If not, you will see them all once we are clean.
Burn Brightly and Shine On ~)'(~