I hadn’t planned on it. I had thought about it but decided not to. When my sister picked me up at the airport two weeks ago, she said we were stopping by the house where my father had lived the last 18 months and where he died. I sort of guessed we were picking up ashes. It made me sad.
When we got there, we were given a bag with four small blue velvet boxes tied with white ribbon. Each was accompanied by a permit to have and maintain the ashes. The permits were made out in the name of each of my three sisters and myself. I was taken by surprise.
Apparently my dad wanted us to have them and left instructions and money to have his wish carried out. That made it different. It was my father’s last gift to me. How could I not accept it? How could I not want it? It was a game changer.
Inside the box was a small, tasteful urn which now sits on a shelf in my hutch, waiting for me to rearrange a different shelf where this gift will reside.