Do Over.

When people hear how we interred my mother’s ashes, they often say, “Oh, how lovely. What a beautiful thing to do.” Her ashes are in Halfmoon Bay, where we used to spend two weeks every summer. It was her favourite place in the world.

Here’s how we did it:

Scott and I bundled my sobbing father into our car and made the ferry trip and drive to the marina where I’d reserved a boat. Between Scott and me, we decided I should drive the boat, as I have marginally more experience than him.

Scott and I helped Dad into the boat, where he cried in the stern, hunched over the blue-and-gold Chinese urn I’d been dispatched to choose, a rose from our front garden clutched alongside it.

I motored us to Halfmoon Bay and cut the engine, wondering how we’d find the words, do or say the right things.

I shouldn’t have bothered. My father took a hammer (?!) from his jacket, smashed the urn and hurled it into the sea. Next, he opened the heavy-duty Ziploc bag (Did you know they give burnt bodies back in Ziploc? How very 21st Century), and poured my mother’s earthly remains out, where they swirled like smoke into the green depths. Then he chucked the rose into the water and sobbed, “Goodby, my love.” And motioned for me, the driver, to drive on. The whole thng took maybe 20 seconds.

Halfway back to the marina, he motioned for me to cut the engine. “I’m sorry, kids, I fucked that up.” I was too much in shock to do anything but demur, but I now see, he did fuck it up.

It was an ignominous and hasty thing, that could have been beautiful and meaningful. We did it his way last time.

Today, I’m going to Halfmoon Bay to try to do it properly.

4 Comments to “Do Over.”

  1. By Arwen, May 6, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    Good luck. I am sending thoughts your mom’s way. And love for you.

  2. By Queen of West Procrastination, May 10, 2006 @ 9:58 am

    Wow. And (hug).

    And: does this mean we’re a ferry ride away from each other?

  3. By Liz, May 10, 2006 @ 10:05 am

    QoWP, we must be, unless you’re on the mainland as well.

  4. By Queen of West Procrastination, May 10, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

    Nope, I’m an Islander. (Or at least I have been since last summer, when I moved here from the prairies.)

Bad Behavior has blocked 16 access attempts in the last 7 days.


Warning: Use of undefined constant is_single - assumed 'is_single' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/gecko/public_html/liz/wp-content/plugins/wp-stattraq/stattraq.php on line 67