The little purple suitcase

Writing is great fun when I’m inspired by a problem that’s sitting like a big elephant in the room. I love to communicate things that are really happening, so fiction doesn’t appeal to me as much as nonfiction, even though my husband laughsly insists it’s all fiction anyway. My friends have told me that I should write a book about some strange events that have happened recently in my life, which I am doing as part of a much larger project that will manifest later, but for now I just wanted to practice a little.

Because I am involved in business with internet marketing and an online store, I often Google words and phrases. I hadn’t Googled my own name for a long time, so this morning that’s what I did, and the results were the inspiration for this article. The most difficult task was figuring out which category to use. If you saw the results, which really aren’t necessary to babble on here, you’d understand my dilemma. Suffice it to say that they range, on two pages, from online stores to a church I’m no longer affiliated with, and I’d like to have the references off the results page on Google or any other search engine, to a story about me. mom donating her body to research. Aha, we’ve made it to the little purple suitcase, and better yet, we’re now talking about the main topic: closure and peace. I may have even picked the right category, home and family, because it’s true that a lot of my family, my mom, is finally home.

Last October, Mom and I met with someone here in town who, ideally, offered a very organized program. Mom was not a religious person and the idea that her body could be potentially useful for research indicated as a great solution for her remains. After investigation, she was going to be cremated and returned to us. It all sounded so easy and costless that she liked it even more.

On February 18, 2010, early in the morning, I guess Mom, who was 89, decided it wasn’t worth getting up to deal with her many physical problems. Sometime between 6:30 am and 8:00 am she left us. She was alone, and knowing her, that’s how she wanted it. Fortunately, I had spoken to her the night before on the phone and also had lunch with her two days earlier.

The last four months have been very interesting to say the least. After Mom died, my sister came here from Oregon, where we’re all originally from. We had talked before about putting Mom’s ashes in her favorite little purple suitcase and taking a train trip from New Mexico to Oregon. My mom loved that train ride and she always took it first class, so it seemed appropriate to take her back to Oregon to put her remains next to those of our dad, her husband of sixty-three years. So much for good intentions!

The business that managed to pick up my mom in a timely manner after her death was apparently a bit overwhelmed with duties and possibly very low on funds, not to mention having issues with honest business practices. After six weeks with no ashes, no death certificate, and a lot of waiting, the news came in with some pretty unlikely details about our mom and several other people. It is not my purpose here to explain all those details, you can also google them if you want. Here, I just need to say that Mom wasn’t in one place and she traveled a lot more than she probably thought possible after her death. Keep in mind that she had a great sense of humor and is probably laughing wherever she is.

So what is my purpose? I have never paid much attention to bodies after death or even funerals, although I definitely respect others who do. The idea of ​​properly disposing of the remains of a loved one was never at the top of my list. In fact, I may have judged others harshly once or twice in my mind because they gave more importance to the issue than I did. Isn’t it amazing how we change? When it happens to us, we feel that connection to others and often see things a little differently. After months of very strange images in my mind, strange dreams, and hearing similar thoughts from my brother and sister, I now understand much better why people long for closure. In the future, I will see that need much clearer and do my best to help others find any situation that provides that closure. When we walk a few steps in another’s shoes, we learn a lot about respect, kindness, and forgiveness. And those three qualities definitely foster peace.

All mom was finally identified after 4 months and her remains were cremated last week. My dear husband, on her birthday no less, collected her ashes and brought them home in her little purple suitcase. She, and I say her because I think she’s probably hanging around too, is sitting by the front door waiting for her train ride to Oregon, which probably won’t happen until next spring. I even cleaned around her while she dusted and vacuumed. I’m not sure where I’ll keep the little purple suitcase until we take the train ride. Right now I just know that it brings me peace right where she is.

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