Last week I was so blessed and thankful to have my brother Dave come to Kalamazoo from Oregon to help sort out Mother's personal things.
Wednesday evening it was cold, windy and snowing. With two outdoor jobs to complete, Dave needed a coat. Our first stop was at the mall. I told him he would never find a winter coat in April, but I was wrong. He found a great, warm $200 coat for $23 in Macy's and it fit.
Second stop was at Lowes for a torch, fatwood, and some kindling. Then on our way to Marshall, Michigan for some sentimental tasks.
Mom pre-planned her cremation, but wouldn't give me a wish for the disposition of her ashes. She said we could sprinkle them where ever we felt they should go.
Dave and I sprinkled Mom's ashes on Dad's grave.
Next stop was more complicated. We had Mom's wedding dress and a few other very personal things we wanted to burn. But where?
We ended up at a park along the river. It had everything we needed, especially a screen to put over the flame because it was very windy.
Dave started the fire with a Bernzomatic Torch, the torch our grandfather, Mom's father, helped design when he was a consultant to the Turner Corporation in 1965.
One moment I'll never forget is when we realized we needed to stir the flame and separate the layers of the gown. I looked down on the ground and there was a long tongs looking back at me like it had fallen from the sky.
Dave and I think Mom would have enjoyed the spectacle of us together burning the dress in the cold, wind, and snow.