Friday, September 13, 2013

John Came Home to Us Today

There was a delay in the cremation process.  Our town of Mansfield Ma. evidently did not use a format for its death certificate that was acceptable to the crematorium.  They evidently wanted more details of the cause of death.  I suppose that chicanery would be rampant in a form of disposal that wipes out all evidence for the future.
So, the Bartletts at the Bartlett Funeral Home in Plymouth(John had chosen it long before he passed) tried everything they could to expedite the process.  What with early town office closings etc., they were not able to clear up the confusion till Monday.  John was then cremated on Tuesday.
I was on tender-hooks all through the wait.  The hardest few minutes of my life occurred when John went out the front door.  I almost could not stand it. 
As the days passed till the promised day that he was to return, I grew more and more anxious.  My sister kept me busy with old movies, War Cake, cleaning and catching up on postponed tasks around the house.  When the delay occurred, I tried to keep it together, but inside I was on the verge of tears every time I paused to think. 
Katie Bartlett called this morning and said that she would arrive in half an hour with John's ashes.  We rushed around getting the dishes washed from breakfast and making space to put the rather large urn till a permanent spot could be found.
Of course the moment I heard the car outside, the phone rang, so I sent Sis out to meet the car.   When I returned, my sister came through the door with a large box in her arms.  I was so glad that she was bringing him in, because she had really fallen in love with John as she took care of me and helped care for John over the last couple of weeks.  I knew that she felt as awful as I did over the last week.  We have had a lot of wine over the last week, despite the fact that we are virtually non-drinkers.
The urn came out of the box with Mrs. Bartlett looking on, always pleasant and lively...keeping us from sinking into too dark a mood.
The urn was not the most expensive...some are just too over the top, but it was even more stunning than I had remembered.  It is a large brass Ginger Jar, with a screw cap.  It is completely covered in sapphire blue and emerald green floral cloisonne with a bit of rusty brown for stems.
Katie had separated a bit of ash for us to give to John's sister Sally, so that some small bit of John could occupy the family plot with his mother.  The amount she removed was way too much for the container we had reserved.  Sally had chosen one of the earthenware Majolica boxes that John had collected from our travels, this one from San Gimignano in Italy. 
I knew that I would have to put some of the ashes back into the urn. 
I struggled to open it(I had forgotten that it had a screw top{idiot that I am} and tried everything to get it to budge.).  When I opened the bag inside, I almost fainted.  I was just not prepared for the sight of John's ashes.  I could not put the extra ash in the urn.  It was too much for me.
That not quite done, and the container re-closed, I put the urn on a shelf in the living room till the gathering I planned on Saturday the 17th of May. 
I was a bit concerned about the container appealing to others as it had to my sister and I.  Sally arrived later in the day, and was immediately thrilled with it, or was at least polite enough to say so.  I felt so much better after that.
So, John is home...home is anywhere Harry is, of course, and there he will wait for Harry and I to finish our part of our collective journey and join him.  I am so glad you are home John!

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