Nearly seven months have passed since Dad died, and now a white box about 11” x 5” is squeezed between books on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. For Dad, that’s borderline ignobility. To be as a book or a bookend, well, if he knew, he’d grind his silica.
You see, he can’t turn over in his grave. He’s in that box. He’s been cremated, and a cremated person, as the mortician explained to me, isn’t really ash; rather he’s silica.
Mom’s been living alone since Dad died. She’s taken widowhood in full stride. I suppose there must have been lonely hours, but she scrubbed the house. She washed all the curtains. She cleaned the car. She tidied up the yard, and she kept me and my sister busy reaching for and pounding on what she could not. It’s been grand because Penny and I thought she might fall into depression or trip over grief.
For the last several years, Dad didn’t like to get more than a short gallop from home. Now Mom’s able to jump in her car, zoom to Payette and visit her brother (who’s in a care center) and sister-in-law whenever she wants. Now that’s a joy. That’s as much fun as playing bingo or pinochle at the senior center.
Senior center! You’ve got to be kidding me. I never thought my mother would be out socializing, partying it up, going out for lunch, or buying raffle tickets. She’s even jumped on the bus and spent a senior citizen’s evening in Jackpot, Nevada. Continue reading →