My husband Don came home this week. He passed away October 18, and according to his wishes, was cremated. Monday we picked up his ashes and carried them home in a cedar box made by a local craftsman. For the six months he was in long term care, he asked to come home almost daily. I wish he could have done it some other way. Right now he is in his room, a sunny corner place with windows on the east and south. We will decide where he will rest forever after the party.
He was very firm about not having a funeral, not wanting people to stare at his remains, all laid out and formal. Those who knew him know he wasn’t a formal person. He never tucked in his shirt, hated to comb his hair and in his later years refused to wear his teeth. He enjoyed teasing people, especially women, who were his best friends. That beautiful cedar box says more about him than any silk-lined casket ever could. And so we will have that requested party as soon as the family can gather at the same time. Everyone he knew will be invited, as well as those who know the family members.
In December we would have been married 62 years. True, some of them were bumpy indeed, but we both were stubborn enough to hang in there, anticipating better times. And those times came. After he retired, we traveled together. Both of us loved the west, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah. We stood in awe of the Grand Canyon, the painted desert, the Rocky mountains. We visited places like Monument Valley, ghost towns like Virginia City, mining towns, the high desert and big sky country. Always driving to see every inch we could.
It would be fine indeed if his celebration of life could be held near our 62nd anniversary on December 19, and it is planned for that month, but probably earlier than that. It has always been difficult to separate our anniversary celebration from Christmas get-togethers, so often they were held at the same time. Our family is big on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, especially Christmas.
For now, I’m at peace. I have brought him home where he wanted to be. May he rest in peace as well.