Monday, October 12, 2009

Chapter One--page 6

That is what made our decision to throw away his stuff so horrible. If Daddy could see what we were doing he would have been rolling over (more like spinning) in his grave.

Most children find contentment in fulfilling their parents' final requests as one last act of honor and obedience. Two of my childhood friends went to great pains to scatter the ashes of their dad, Doc, who was an avid fisherman, in all the places he had loved. Some of Doc went into a swath of irises in the cow pasture above his favorite bass pond. A bit of him ended up in a wildflower meadow on the shore of a special brook trout lake, and just a pinch went into his late wife's rose garden. Even though they had not hiked the trail in over twenty-five years, the girls even made a special memorial hike up to a wilderness area to scatter his remains where the family had backpacked every Summer while they were growing up. They felt peace and joy at knowing that Doc's body would eventually become an organic part of the nature that he so loved. My friend even chuckled at the irony that, if a little of Doc washed into the lake, the fishies might get the last word and nibble on him.

My siblings and I found no such contentment. A combination of circumstances mixed with the daunting reality of his junk had forced our hands to do exactly the opposite of what we knew Daddy would have wanted. Clark and I had moved hours away to opposite corners of the state, and RoxAnne lived halfway across the country. Poor George, who lived only a few miles away, could not, and should not, have had to handle it on his own. As now the four legal owners of the property, we each had to agree to the terms of sale and sign a contract with the realtor. Thanksgiving weekend was the only time all four of us could take time off work. In the three months between Daddy's death and this weekend when we were legally free to deal with his property, thieves had stolen most anything that they believed could be sold. Even if we had the heart to let strangers rummage through everything to pay a quarter here and a dime there for the remaining clutter at a yard sale, we simply did not have the time to organize one. We salvaged what sentimental treasures we could, borrowed my uncle's front end loader, and used it to shovel everything into a 47 yard dumpster.

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