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Monday, 11 June 2012

An Eternal Menage a Trois

By Tarzana

Characters:
Irving (1903 – 1980)
Elizabeth (1909 – 2003)
Michael (1938 - );Eloise (19?? – 2003)
Funeral Home person

My Dad Irv, as he preferred to be called, lived a life shortened by heart disease but filled, in his later years, with doing the things he loved “no matter what."

My Mom, Betty, a name she disliked but in her youth was stuck with, outlived her beloved husband by 23 busy years. At last, at age 94, she went the way of all flesh, a welcome relief to her I suspect.

When Dad died, he was cremated. My brother, Mike, who lived on a wooded property in a small mountain valley, had promised Dad he would bury his ashes beside Dad’s favorite tree and spring, which he did – in a Bailey’s Irish Crème Christmas box.

Mom also wanted cremation and hoped her ashes and Dad’s could be mingled before burial. So Mike returned to his now former property and with permission, went to dig up Dad’s ashes. After 23 years there was really nothing identifiable left.

Knowing the spot he’d buried the ashes, Mike took a couple of shovels full of the soil and carried it home in a nice box.

One day shortly after Mom’s cremation, Mike went to the funeral home to pay the bill, sign some papers and to collect Mom’s ashes. The container was labeled with her name, Elizabeth.

He picked it up from the place where it and other “cremains” were waiting and headed for the car. Half way there, he recalled that he hadn’t signed something. Returning to the office, he set down Mom’s ashes and took care of business.

Now he was running late. In a hurry, he spotted the container, took a quick look at the name, "El----" and grabbed it.

Arriving home, he commenced the mingling process. Opening the container of ashes, he poured some into Dad’s box and started to mix them. It was then he chanced to glance at the name on the container. To his horror, it read “Eloise.”

What to do now? He immediately called the mortuary to confess his error. Minutes later, an obsequious, scared-of-a-lawsuit mortician arrived with Mom’s ashes.

Meanwhile, Mike began to try to recover Eloise. Using a tea strainer, he sifted out the larger chunks of Eloise’s ashes and returned them to her container. But inevitably, bits of Eloise remained behind.

Fortunately for the mortuary, if not for Eloise, she had no family. The awful truth of the accidental desecration of her remains would be a secret forever. This is how Irving, Elizabeth and a little bit of Eloise are joined for eternity in a menage a trois and we acquired a wonderful family story.

When we offer prayers and remembrances for Mom and Dad, Eloise is now included as an honorary member of the family.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

What a funny,wonderful story. Isn't it nice that Eloise,
who had no family, became part of yours and now has people who remember her.

Tarzana, thanks for your humorous and entertaining story. I love the detail about the obsequious mortician afraid of a law-suit.I can picture him in my mind. Well done!

It is a delightful, funny story.I agree with Estelle--Eloise was one lucky lady to be found by your family!

What a wonderful, amusing story, full of love and caring for your parents and for Eloise.

How fortunate for Eloise that she was able to join your family for Eternity.

What a great story! I was laughing out loud throughout. Really fine work.

Cute story!

I'm so glad you can have a sense of humor about all of this. There are some who might not have. I liked the way you told of your parent's demise, very gentle and yet with class.

I loved it - of course ashes should be treated with respect - but humour is the essence of life and I'm sure the participants at all stages would have appreciated it.

Wonderful! What an interesting twist of events to add to the family history. :)

Love finds a way.

What a wonderful tale! I'm glad your brother didn't keep it a secret, as now Eloise will never be forgotten, which would have happened otherwise.

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