The People's Guide To Mexico

Tina's Stories

A Ritual for October

by Tina Rosa

Tina's Stories

Day of the Dead Altar
A Ritual for October
All Us Desert Rats

Tina's Mexico:
On the Road Again

#1: Preparing to Leave for Mexico
#2: On The Road Again
#3: Dia de Guadalupe
#4: Gamboling for Cookies
#5: The Geography of Ghosts
#6: The
Baby Jesus
#7: Laughing Buddha
#8: Degrees of Acceptance
#9: Keys for the Road
#10: Not Pie in the Sky
#11: Raison d'être
#12: Butterflies & Turtles
#13: Yes Howard, We did eat Steve
#14: "56"
#15: Dia de Amistad
#16: Rio Purificacion
#17: Popcorn
#18: Ode To Odette
#19: Departure
#20 Pueblita's Flowers
#21: Rearview-Mirror
#22: Lingering
#24 1st Anniversay of Steve's Death
Steve died July 1st.

I was pleased to learn that River's and Elizabeth's wedding was planned for August 1st, on Steve's first month "anniversary." It was a joyous occasion where I got to experience happiness and loss linked in my heart through-out the day, a rare wedding of emotions.

September's first day brought another community celebration, a sweat to honor Shilo as he became a pipe carrier and to give thanks for four of our children who were uninjured in a potentially lethal crash last month. Again the loss and joy simultaneously shared my heart, enlivening the day, the sun dappled green glade by the creek, with a psychedelic intensity.

I knew that November 1 would bring the Day of the Dead as our family's means of marking the passage of time, but there was nothing coming up the first of October.

So since there was no spontaneously occurring ceremony for this month, I decided to make ritual for myself. A few pairs of Steve's boots sat bedraggled in the corner of the porch, depressing me with their sense of abandonment, an echo that rings within me often. I didn't want to just take them to Sally Ann, and I was reluctant to ask Steve's friends or brothers whether they wanted to "walk in his moccasins", so to speak.

Instead I asked around to locate the two homeless camps that exist in Eugene. I decided on the one in the park across the river where homeless people with vehicles are permitted to park their rigs. I dusted the cobwebs off the boots and printed some colored index cards with several phrases, including one with a heart and Steve's name.

On my next trip to town I parked near the homeless camp and set Steve's boots out walking around the corner of the dumpster. I set the index cards poking up out of boots so anyone could read,

"May you be happy", "May you be peaceful," "May you be liberated," Steve Rogers (with a big heart.) While I was photographing the site a man on a bicycle pulled up and commented this was an odd sort of art. I told him they were my husband's shoes, which may have left him wondering if I was pissed off!

While Xuxa and I took a walk around the park, I remembered the last time I was there was with Steve. He had just been diagnoxed with liver cancer, but we went anyway to Riverwalk, the annual fund raiser for our local HIV services agency. We had to walk very slowly on that day in May. We were already losing Steve.

I got Xuxa in the car and took a spin back past the dumspster, said good-bye to Steve's boots and drove away crying but satisfied.

....Continued with All Us Desert Rats

© by Tina Rosa, 1999-2002
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Email Tina Rosa at tinar@mexconnect.com

Steve Rogers Memorial

Churpa Rosa Roger
School Days in Mexico