Friday, August 24, 2012

Your Mother's Remains

Is there really a nice way for someone to tell you that they have your mom's remains ready for you?

While we were down in Florida celebrating Mark's new job opportunity, an email containing this news was sitting in one of my folders, just waiting for me to get home and open it.

I am sure you can imagine how this little tidbit of information hit me. Holy repressed emotions leaping to the surface, Batman!

Here I was, relaxed from our wonderful escape, and happy and excited for Mark to get home and share the details of his first day with us. As I attempted to scan through and delete unneeded messages, I read this in the subject line:

Your Mother-Mrs. Hughes'-cremated remains

Sigh. Of course I had to open it, no matter how much I didn't want to.

As I scrolled down, I read:

Hi Mrs. Perri, We have your mother's cremated remains. Would you like to have me mail them to you?

I knew that this message, be it via email or a phone call, would come eventually. In the packet that Mom had been given when she signed up to donate her body to the medical college, it said that they would be using her body anywhere from 18 to 24 months. With everything that we had been going through in our life, I don't think that I realized that we had hit the 18 month mark already. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I really wasn't prepared for the feelings of sadness that ran through me.

That one simple email put so many other things in my head.

Mrs. Perri, we are through using your mom's body as a hands-on teaching guide and the time has come to cremate what was left of it. We have no other use for it.

Of course I want you to mail it. Can you imagine me picking her up and taking her to Disney with us for Renee's upcoming 13th birthday? "Look Renee, we finally got Grammy to come along with us!"

What am I going to do when THAT package comes in the mail? Ooooh, what's inside? Surprise! It's your Mom!

It was a heck of a lot easier to just wave at her and tell her how much I loved and missed her as we drove through Macon on our way to Florida. 

This is reality. She really IS gone.

Except for our dog, Indy, I have never dealt with cremated remains before. When Indy passed, they returned her to us in a beautiful little box covered in green fabric. How will Mom come home to us? I am giggling as I write this, but will she be in a cardboard box? Knowing her, she would be happy about that. She was all about the simplicity.

Both my sister and my Dad are buried up in New Jersey. When I allow myself to think about it, it saddens me that we live so far away and I can't put flowers on their resting spots. Even when we lived in New York, we would always stop by to visit my sister when we were down in the area. We would either bring flowers from our garden, or pick up a bouquet along the way. It made us happy to see those flowers in front of her headstone; she was loved.

My Dad passed away once we were settled in Georgia, so I have only been back to his grave once. Cemeteries, once interesting to me because of the history captured inside their gates, have become a sad place to me now. They are a reminder of the forgotten, whether it be due to families moving away, or just because people forget.

I know that it's a good thing that Mom is coming home to us. I just have to get through the new batch of emotions that are slamming my heart right now. As both my sweet sister, Renee, and my Mom always said, "One day at a time."


Tootie said...

Oh Mare, from all the beautiful things you have said about your Mother, I can tell you are like her. So now all you have to do is think of that special place she would like to be.

DeeNAndy said...

I think a plain simple box for her remains would be beautiful - perhaps print up a special poem or you can each write some memories and make a small collage with written memories and photos, say a 5x7 in a simple frame to put next to the box - that would be nice (yet simple). - love and hugs - Dee

Anonymous said...

We send you lots of love and hugs from Indiana!!!! I kow you're having a difficult time, and I can't begin to understand how this makes you feel, other than sad. All I can say is: cry if you must and for as long as you need it or laugh it it helps. Your mom and you had such a bond that she has never left you, her spirit still remains, and she also ramins in you and Miss Renee. Love you, Leslie

sbracken007 said...

Oh Mare, I know this is a hard thing. I have thought a lot how hard it will be when I have to leave my loved ones, saying goodbye for a final time, not for a plane trip trip back to Utah.
I also want to be cremated and wish to have bits and pieces scattered in a lot of my favorite places and some left to live on with my kids and grandkids--in a ceramic vase or a wooden box. Somehow I think your Mom wants to be near you all and also near her beautiful flowers in your garden. I am getting slobbery teary just writing about it. Better stop for now but I send much love and support for the next steps you are making in your grief process.

Wannabe Farmers said...

I can't believe I'm just reading this. My heart was sad with yours, but I giggled with you wondering how the delivery would be. That's a win for Wilson, and a win for you and for us. So, where's the old broad now? ;)