I recently flew to Scotland to meet with the Sangster family and scatter part of Mike’s ashes, per his wishes. The second leg of my trip took me to Ireland for the wedding celebration of Mike’s eldest nephew. The trip across the pond did not disappoint.

At the recent wedding of her husband’s eldest nephew, J. Lauren Sangster wore a fascinator hat; pinned to her outfit, to represent Mike Sangster, was his black tuxedo tie. Photo courtesy of J. Lauren Sangster

Our day to scatter Mike’s ashes was filled with funny mishaps and entertaining moments.

Mike would have laughed at me leaving him behind on the dresser in the bedroom where I stayed. Thankfully, I realized my mistake 10 minutes into a two-hour journey to a family farm, the first destination for Mike. After a mad dash back to the house, we were able to resume our trip 20 minutes later. Whew!

Another mishap involved a muddy-pawed 8-month-old Irish setter named Fergal who bulleted toward a bride, clad in her wedding dress, as she was attempting to take photos in the rain at the same park where we completed Mike’s wishes. “Fergal, NO! Fergal, NO! Fergal, NOOOO!” pealed throughout the park. Thankfully, Fergal decided to forgo his usual greet-by-jumping maneuver, and instead ran a broad circle around the startled bride before boomeranging back to his master.

I looked at the day as one of happiness because we were beginning to fulfill Mike’s wishes. Laughter mulled with love permeated the air around us. A bit of weight began to lift from my shoulders …

A week later, we journeyed to Adare, Ireland, for the Sangster wedding. It was a traditional Irish-Scottish Catholic affair that presented the opportunity for several of the gentlemen to wear their particular clan kilts. Several women, including myself, wore fascinator hats. The combination of the two made the event feel truly glamorous. I pinned onto my outfit a black tuxedo tie that had belonged to Mike. It was my way to represent him at the wedding.


I was again able to fulfill a promise to Mike, to attend the wedding alone if he was unable to be there. Another bit of weight lifted …

A close friend of the family, whom I hadn’t met before, was also in attendance at the wedding. Robert is kind, clever and witty, and I could see he is truly adored by the Sangster family. “Robert the Charmer” helped me realize how much I want to smile and feel true happiness again. I wanted to make the effort to feel pretty in his presence. I wanted to be clever and witty as well. Instead, I felt shy and tongue-tied, sometimes schoolgirlish. I’m OK with that. I was startled that I felt anything. It was delightful.

More weight lifted; I began to feel light on my feet …

I am in a spring renewal that brings with it the happy feeling that I can dream a little about a new life with someone else somewhere down the road.

I think I will throw my fascinator in the air like the graduates throw their caps after commencement. I have definitely turned a corner.

Read more stories from Maine at pressherald.com/meetinghouse.

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