Plenty of Time

Seven months.  We had plenty of time to prepare.  But as the fateful day was upon us – nothing.  We scrambled. We made phone calls to the funeral home and to the crematorium.  No one could give us a clear answer.  We were on our own.

My mom passed away seven months earlier.  Immediately after her death, we had a formal service – lots of speakers and a reception to follow.  Friends and family came in from out of town and we celebrated and honored a grand old lady.  Closure.  Sort of.  But since my mom was being interred beside my dad at Arlington National Cemetery, there was a seven month gap between services.  And today was the day that she was being interred.

As a family, we agreed that we would take some of her ashes and spread them somewhere special.  I had the urn tucked away on a family room shelf for 7 months.  A quick peek revealed a tightly clamped seal – the kind that one cannot replicate at home.  Arlington National Cemetery was very clear with their instructions — no partial ashes.

Since my mom was a bit of a rebel, this seemed perfect.  We had a clandestine mission.  She would have approved.  The boys were out – my brother and my husband wanted nothing to do with this — their squeamishness and their rule following natures rendered them helpless.  So, my sister-in-law, Julie, and I took charge.  Julie went to the craft store and got two vials – and supplies to “bedazzle” them.  We cut off a bottom corner of the ashes bag and poured some ashes into the shiny, pink, bedazzled vials.  We took an old fashioned twisty tie and sealed the bag and tucked it beneath the bulk of the ashes.  Our secret deed done.

Most of my mom now resides next to my dad at the storied Arlington National Cemetery.  But the rebel in her floats in the lake that she lived on for 40 years – and the adventurer in her drifts in the waves in a secluded beach in Tortola.  I think she’d like that.

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7 Responses to Plenty of Time

  1. Julie says:

    Welcome back!! So happy to read your writing again. I really think she would have liked the bedazzling, too.

  2. mlb1202 says:

    I love this. I’m sorry for the loss of your mom, and it really sounds like she was an amazing woman, who knew what she wanted. I love that you and your sister knew her so well, and catered to her “rebel” side as well, with the secret bedazzled viles for the lake and the beautiful waves of that amazing beach, exactly as you knew she would want. Now, she can truly be at rest with your dad. Sounds perfect.

  3. Lanny Ball says:

    Beautifully story, written in such an engaging fashion! I think your mom would certainly have approved of such a clandestine mission. Ashes in the lake on which she lived for 40 years…perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this story!

  4. tbreitweiser says:

    Sorry for your loss – thank you for sharing this beautiful post

  5. Kay Seenson says:


  6. Dana Murphy says:

    This is wonderful. I love how you took us through the whole thing, and your ending gave me goosebumps, picturing your rebel mom laughing from up above as she performs one last act of defiance. I just love it.

    Prayers for you and your family.

  7. JudyK says:

    So beautiful! ~JudyK

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