A couple I know that I secretly call The Crepe Hangers, say to me as we are leaving the coffee shop, “Do you realize the three of us only have ten to fifteen years left to live?”
Not in my book.
A few days ago I’m walking with my daughter and I say something like, “When I get old I’m going to hang spangles out of my nose.”
Summer laughs but not at the spangles. She says, “Mom! ‘When I get old’ is something a forty-year old would say!'”
She laughs and laughs.
Later, a man friend tells me, “We have to pay $1700 to put my 101 year old mother’s ashes in a grave we own! It’s next to her first husband. Plus we have to pay extra money for other things just because we’re putting her ashes there. In the grave we have owned for years!”
I say, “Just scatter her ashes on top of your dad’s grave and save the money.”
I think he is horrified with what I think is a reasonable idea.
My mother, I tell him, is still in her fancy box on my hall table. My cleaning lady doesn’t know that’s my Mum in there & she is always stacking books & what nots on top of her.
When my father died we scattered his ashes into the field way behind our folk’s house where the wild flowers grow. Too bad there was a wind blowing that day. Daddy got scattered on all of us! Stuck in our hair, on our clothes, up our noses, on our faces. Bleeeh. Kinda’ weird feeling.
Why didn’t we notice the wind until we tossed out his ashes? That’s what we all asked ourselves, later.
When I asked Mom if we should scatter her remains down by the stream with Daddy when she died, she said ‘OK.’ But, I think she only said that to be nice. I think she’s had enough of my father and probably prefers her current life with me.
I could be wrong.
But, Mom stays in the fancy box. I like having my mother in the house with me…oh I know, ashes are not ‘her’! But still…I can go knock on the top of her pretty box house every once in a while and say, “Hi Mom!”
A lot of Daddy’s side of the family is buried there but I guess our father didn’t want to be buried next to his ‘momma’ who he loved and hated. He felt that way because of a Bad Upbringing which we won’t go into, here.
Recently, Jim drove up to the Los Angelus Cemetery to see his inherited burial site.
He was surprised. He says the old McWhorter plots are now totally surrounded by Chinese families!
He says, “So, here’s these few old dead white people that I don’t even know and the rest are all Chinese.”
Jim only knows one person there and that is our grandmother, ‘Momma’, the one who gave our father his Bad Upbringing. Jim thought he might feel lonely and out of place buried there with ‘Momma’ who once called him, ‘You Little Ass Hole!’ when he was a kid. Otherwise it’s old dead relatives he never met and all the nice Chinese families who may not speak his language.
Death itself doesn’t really bother me. Being dead doesn’t bother me, either.
Awhile back I was working as a medium with a wife who’s husband is dying at home. The wife asked me to find out what he is thinking and what he needs as he has been agitated. I did chat with the man and here is his concern. He’s worried about the lawn not getting cut. And other household matters. I told him it was all taken care of and that he needs to get cracking, that he’s dying and needs to work on passing over. I said “You have a big job here and you need to stop thinking about worldly matters.”
Later, the wife told a friend of ours that she liked me. She liked me because, “She’s so cheerful about death!”
Well, why wouldn’t I be? I know life goes on.
Do you know what bothers me? It’s not death, it’s the Getting There that annoys me. Old age can mean flapping skin, falling faces, peeing in your pants, malignant ailments, false teeth popping from your mouth like popcorn and various other indignities. Eeeeewh.
If we could just skip that Getting There part, I would be happier about the whole death thing.
I complain about the Getting There part, a lot.
Maybe I am a Crepe Hanger, too?
But in my mind I am a Young Crepe Hanger.