My mom's 1 year anniversary was a week ago on August 25th. Our larger-than-life-family created a celebration worthy of mom. A few of us had ideas of what we wanted to do to honor the anniversary and we collaborated to start some traditions.
Her anniversary starts with 9 am Mass at the parish she attended until her death. Then we head over to the cemetery for prayers, flowers and, of course, pipes.
This is my 18 year old (!!!) niece Kathleen, a competitive bag-piper, playing the bagpipes for our visit to the grave.
I still sob like a baby when I visit her grave. I'm not sure that will ever change.
The second part of the day was the only appropriate way to honor a maritimer. Last year for my mom's birthday, we asked her what she wanted to do. She knew EXACTLY what she wanted: lobsters.
She had undergone a major surgery in March and was feeling well enough to eat the exact weekend of her birthday. Up until that point, she was still in recovery from the surgery and barely sipping water. It was perfect timing and we were more than happy to accompany her for a lobster dinner.
*I look like I'm going to explode because I was laughing so hard I couldn't compose myself in time for the photo. Typical...
We Canadians take our lobster seriously. And, as my sister and brother-in-law had just been in Scotland eating haggis and meeting drinking with Scotsmen, they learned the tradition Piping in the Haggis.
Piping in the Haggis
If haggis is served (such as a Burn’s Dinner), pipe the haggis to the head table to “A Man’s a Man For All That”. Stand at attention for the recital of Burn’s “Address to a Haggis”, and participate in the toast to his “immortal memory”. Pipe the haggis out to “Neil Gow’s Farewell to Whisky”.
And if haggis gets a formal piping entrance, you better BELIEVE we piped in that lobster!!!
You either have to do it right or not do it at all right? Although my mom missed quite the lobster feast, I'm sure she is living in some sort of donut/lobster/chocolate heaven right now :)
The master of the lobster ceremony and his "professional" steamer :
Teaching the young'uns how to properly open and eat a lobster.
It was a celebration worthy of my mom. We miss her so much and we weren't sure exactly how we were going to mark the anniversary. But this is a tradition worth repeating. I think it is safe to say I'll be back in Maryland this time next year :)