By Sierra French Myerson
Two years ago, my grandmother passed away at the age of 100. Two months ago, we scattered her ashes in New Mexico. My sister, brother, dad, and I journeyed together from Los Angeles to Santa Fe for the Myerson clan gathering. A weekend of leftist intellectual humor, hot springs, chiles rellenos, and bad dad jokes was upon us...all amidst the back drop of big sky.
My grandmother was a strong, smart, and independent woman. She was an activist for human rights. She was an officer for The Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom and The Los Angeles Peace Crusade. She was a world traveller up until her 90's. But, she was not a warm touchy-feely grammy. She was a familial pragmatist. I loved her regardless of her seemingly unaffectionate ways (though, some of my cousins may argue with this). She was inspiring.
So, to say the least, my g-ma (as she signed her cards to me) was not a sentimentalist. But, nothing made her happier that seeing all of her grandkids in the same place. In fact, we hadn't actually all been together since my her 100th birthday in January of 2011. So, though she never cared for there to be any pomp and circumstance surrounding her passing, she would have been delighted to know that this "ceremony" to say goodbye had brought us all together again.
We assembled together at the adobe chapel on my Uncle Reno's property, held hands, told stories, and scattered the ashes. We didn't overdo it, we didn't under do it, we did it just right. There were some tears, lots of laughter, and a vow to come together more often. Everyone then went back to my dad's rental house where I cooked us a huge feast. A very appropriate farewell to my grandma, Vivien Myerson.