Dad has been in the closet for a long time. He was cremated in 2006 and spent the next five years by the couch where his wife lived her days with him, her dog, and her cat. When his wife moved north with her daughter several years ago, he became my responsibility.
My father’s only desire was for his ashes to be with hers. She wanted hers to be strewn on a mountain top. And so he waited. Last year she died and joined him in my closet.*
They are together again but the question has been – where will the remainder of their remains remain?
My father was two weeks shy of 98 when he died in 2006. His wife died at 100 years old in 2014 . Not surprisingly due to the nature of life, many of those who loved them are older…and some not active at all. So the needs and wishes of the living demand attention. Mulling over this knotty issue has taken some time but now has a been partially handled.
This past winter a few of us decided that the perfect repository for a memorial token of their ashes was in the park where we began our life in this town. We lived in a small auto court at the back of the park (one token cabin has been placed at the spot for the sake of the town’s history). Also near that site was a rustic building in which my father later held his first church services. I don’t know the full story, but it could be where my father met his second wife.
When we carried the ashes in a small container on a damp winter day we were searching for the perfect place in the vicinity of our family lore. Serendipitously we found our marker – a standpipe place under a tree in front of the old church building and the historic auto cabin. What could be better? A place called home, close to parking, and marked by a considerate public works department by a small yellow cross.
There you are, dear friends and relatives – a place to commemorate these cherished people.
Still, I want to observe the wishes of these parents who were so dear to me. And many of their descendants are young and active. This spring those who care to and can will take the small hike from the mountain road to spread the rest of the ashes at a site overlooking the town where my parents spent so many years with each other and their families.
Perhaps I’ll add a photo to this post when the deed is done.
*Well, part of her joined him…We are a fractured, fused, and mostly-mended family. Her daughter also had precious memories of where her mother should rest.