When you read this blog I will be on a cruise surrounded by my children, their spouses, and all my grandchildren. In fact, we’ll be cave tubing in Belize. There will be nine of us. There should have been ten.
My husband and I planned this cruise almost a year ago to celebrate out fiftieth wedding anniversary. It was his idea and he talked about it often. I think it says a lot about his character that he would rather spend the time with his family than at a party. He was talking about the cruise and all the fun we would have fifteen minutes before he died.
I waited a couple of months, trying to figure out what to do, then discussed it with the kids and we decided to go on the cruise anyway. But I’m taking him with us. I asked Carnival Cruise Lines and they assured me that I could spread his ashes off the ship as long as the container is biodegradable.
But he was in a rosewood box with his name attached. And while wood does biodegrade, it wouldn’t be any time soon. With my luck he would float back to Galveston and someone would call me and say they found him.
So, I got on the Internet and started looking for biodegradable urns. Yes, they have those. No point searching for the best price. Every company has the exact same ones and the price doesn’t vary by more than a dollar. There is a difference in ones that go in the ground and ones that dissolve in water. They also have sprinkling tubes, if that’s the way you want to go.
I found one I liked and it wasn’t expensive. It came in three colors–navy blue, moss green and cream. In the corner of the ad was a note that said 200 cu. in. I ignored that because I didn’t know what it meant.
I clicked on the cream one while trying to pick a color. That’s when I read the description. It would hold the remains of a person with a healthy weight of 200 pounds. My first thought was: why would a healthy person need an urn? My second thought was: well shit, that’s never going to hold Sid. He was well over six foot three, and let’s just call him hefty. They had to remove his pacemaker before they cremated him, but that couldn’t account for more than two pounds.
I kept looking and found one for 220 pounds, then 240 and even one for 260. I thought about using that one, but what if I had some left over? What would I do with it? They had one for two people, but that degraded in land, not water.
Finally, I found an extra large one. It was in the shape of a seashell. I wasn’t too crazy about that, but it was big enough. Only it cost way more than twice the price of the next most expensive one. I thought about all the times I went to specialty stores looking for clothes for Sid. From size thirteen shoes to hats to belts. And they all cost more than regular size clothes.
I started laughing. I looked up at the ceiling and said, “Well, Sid. You did it to me one last time. I love you, honey, but this is the last XXL thing I’ll ever have to buy.”
The seashell only came in two colors; sand and turquoise. I picked sand and sent in the order. The next day I remembered the time I painted the den beige and in the morning light it was pink. I started worrying. I could picture Sid waiting for me at the pearly gates. The first words out of his mouth would be, “I can’t believe you sent me off in a pink seashell.” Oh, he’d be kidding, but he’d still rub it in.
The seashell came, and it was a true sand, not pink, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I took everything outside because I didn’t want to get him in the carpet, and I transferred him to his seashell. The flap was supposed to seal with super glue, but when I glued one side the other popped up, and when I glued that side, the first popped back up. I started giggling. It was so hot outside that sweat dripped off my nose and onto the shell. I couldn’t do anything about it because I was holding the super-glued flap with both hands. I started wondering if the shell would dissolve from my sweat before I got it out to sea and then the giggles turned into outright laughter.
And the day I had been dreading turned out not to be so bad after all.
My hope for you is that you can always find the humor in a bad situation. Never lose the ability to laugh; sometime it’s all that keeps us going.