It was a magical trip.
The mid-October drive through Virginia and Tennessee gave us a view of the vivid red and yellow autumn colors, valleys and vintage farm houses. The Fall harvest readied in the Blue Ridge Mountain apple orchards and corn fields as we passed.
The trip was unplanned, as was the urn in the backseat. My mother-in-law, Mary Rose, passed nine days before her 93rd birthday and we were on our way from her home in Maryland to take her to her second memorial and burial service in Miami.
It was a fitting last adventure for Mary Rose. Her life was full of commitment to her country and to humanitarian causes, as well as some unique connections to history. For the first few years of her life she lived across the street from the United State Capitol, on the current site of the United States Supreme Court. She was a child of the Great Depression and during World War II she served the nation as an aircraft plotter in secret locations around the D.C. area. Along with her mother and sisters, Mary Rose assisted with the USO where she once met Eleanor Roosevelt.
She married and moved to Miami and was a public servant for the Miami-Dade County for 30 years. The County Commission honored her dedication by proclaiming January 31, 1991 as “Mary R. Turner Day.”
Even after retirement, she never stopped having adventures. She and her sister Louise drove cross-country when she was in her 70s. When she was in her 80s and widowed with grand-kids, she reconnected with and married her high school sweetheart, Bill.
During the trip, I spoke to Mary Rose in her beautiful rose colored urn, pointing out some of the sites in Virginia’s Jefferson country. We took her to visit her granddaughter and twin great granddaughters at our Georgia mountain home before the making the final processional to Miami.
I know that she enjoyed the last adventure. It was one that I’ll never forget.