This post is a continuation of Mom Approaches El Cruz de Ferro – the Iron Cross of Letting Go.
By the time Mom had removed her pack and gotten out her rock from home and the rumpled copy of her PET scan, all the other pilgrims had miraculously disappeared from the rock pile, save two who stood a few feet uphill from me. In a field to our right, a tall, bearded man in his fifties was sobbing. Mom made her way unsteadily up through the rocks.
One thing Catholics, the original pilgrims of the Camino, really understood is ritual. Ritual is a mindful creation of a sacred space. It was clear Mom had thought about how she would create such a space.
From the bottom of the pile of left-behind stones, I turned on the video of my camera and watched her kneel down, a small figure compared to the tall wooden beam in front of her. I felt Timothy lodge in my own throat. The two pilgrims
took their time leaving, perhaps magnetized by the sight of a man, weeping, holding a camera on an old woman kneeling at the foot of a cross. For several minutes she knelt there, offering the copy of her PET scan, with the tumor circled in red, and a rock from Montrose. These she placed under two rocks.
After a while, I handed the camera to Carrie and walked up the rock pile toward Mom.
She had stood up, and I put my hand on her lower back. She began to cry, and I inclined my head to touch hers and cried with her.
For a lower-bandwidth version (not High Definition), click on The Cruz de Ferro.