Among the attributes I inherited is a certain degree of sense of humor. My best friend, Vince was very instrumental in honing that sense to a far sharper edge than would have occurred without his tutelage. I’m dedicating this effort to him so indulge me … Please!
This past Monday morning I posted a tongue-in-cheek bit on Facebook about what to do with my remains. After posting it I realized that it really needed to be expanded and developed further. So, here goes.
The post began this way: “Okay … I’ve made a decision, which of course may be rescinded by this time tomorrow morning. After I have assumed room temperature and have been stuffed into the blazing furnace of the nearest crematorium I wish 2 things to happen to the ashes formerly identified as me … Georgia. Sprinkle a generous amount over Monument Valley from a biplane.”
Cremation is critical here. I really don’t want to be put on display in an overpriced, satin lined box so people feel pressured to stroll by and say something they really don’t mean like, “She looks so peaceful.” Of course I would look peaceful. Some overpaid afterlife cosmetologist would have been paid a couple of thousand dollars to make me look peaceful thought totally unlike anything I did in life. I would much prefer that people remember me in their mind’s eye the way I appeared to them. And no, a closed coffin would not be a suitable alternative. I wouldn’t want the undertaker to have his hard work go unseen although it would be a way of getting even for the exorbitant pay he’d be getting from someone in my life who cared enough to cough it up.
As to the ashes, the biplane and Monument Valley; this is a must. Blame it on a limited sense of possibilities but … that’s where I’m happiest in this life and can’t begin to contemplate an improvement on that. Maybe I’m just not letting my imagination run wild enough so I’ll think about that a bit.
The biplane just seems right for some reason because of a scene from “The English Patient” when his biplane crashes with him and his love … in the desert. Go figure!
When I compare all the places that most of the world considers beautiful I think of mountains, forests, lakes and rivers; maybe the seashore. For the most part those scare the living daylights out of me. Mountains can be austere and cold, and at times forbidding. Deserts, on the other hand, don’t hem you in. Granny commented on occasion, when she was at the family cabin in Montana that she couldn’t “see out yonder.” She felt hemmed in by the forest and mountains and I agree. In that respect, the parts of Montana which are referred to as “Big Sky” would be my first alternative to Monument Valley because you can “see out yonder.” Bill collectors can’t sneak up on you that way … and neither can ex’s.
They don’t have ill tempered bears in the desert, which means I don’t have to wear something noisy like an old set of sleigh bells and carry a canister of pepper spray the size of a commercial fire extinguisher with me just to go for a walk. Forests just never seem as clean as the desert the floor which is clean windswept sand, not a carpet of decaying leaves, rotting logs and innumerable unseen creeping crawling creatures; ticks for instance.
There are, I admit, a few advantages to the forest. The forests in Montana have huckleberries and believe you me you haven’t lived till you’ve had homemade ice cream and fresh huckleberries, in the absence of ice cream, Huckleberry shortcake. There are also an abundant number of natural springs feeding the lakes and rivers. Water is nice to have around. It’s a requirement for morning coffee and mid-afternoon iced tea.
The necessity of the cemetery at West Yellowstone, next to the ashes of my bride goes without saying. It was a promise, and the last song played at her funeral was Dan Seals’ “Meet me in Montana.” And that’s the closest I’m getting to tears today.
On with the lighter side! The original hard copy of the original text of “Dear Mom and Dad” and a copy of the Book of Job is an absolute must. I’ve developed a deep and abiding affection for Job because I can relate. And so when some explorer in the distant future and he/she stumbles across my simple headstone and digs up the small vault which will hold my ashes and these relative items of significance to my life, he will understand why I included the book of Job with the memoir.
I will request that a large jar of Peter Pan Smooth (not crunchy) Peanut Butter and a jar of Blackburn’s Apricot preserves along with a pack of Trident Sugarless Tropical Fruit gum be included as symbols of my life’s simple requirements for contentment. Also just in case I am reincarnated I want to be prepared with the essentials.
The last item, and for this you can use one of those empty pint mug jars from Blackburn’s Apricot preserves you will find in most every cabinet in my kitchen, along with its lid; this last item will be filled with club soda, a shot of Rose’s Lime juice and two squeezes of lime. I’m thinking of taping a note to the jar that commends two bartenders, Jakob at Plazma on Osborne and Andy at Cash Inn on McDowell in Phoenix, for their faithful and generous provisioning of my liquid refreshments for so long.
Now, where has this day gone? Time does fly when you’re having fun and I have had fun creating this totally valueless communique´.