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Mama's Cremated ?!!
by Leah Sellers
2014-06-22 10:42:38
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“No one in our family has ever been Cremated, Cheyenne.  Mama’s the first.”
“Yeah, almost everyone saw Mama as Being so Traditional.  But in a lot of ways she was very much an Original Thinker.  Mama is….sorry, I meant to say that Mama was an Artist.  Artists have a tendency to Think about, and See, the World a little differently,” Cheyenne explained.
“But Mama was also pretty practical.  She didn’t like waste.  To her, Cremation was a Thoughtful and Responsible decision.  She didn’t want to waste Land that future generations might Need to live upon…”
“And Cremation is cheaper,”  Cheyenne’s sister, Marie interrupted.
“Well, yes, that did figure into her Decision Making Process as well.  She was always saying that she didn’t want to straddle any of us with senseless debt,”  Cheyenne confirmed.
“Yes, but it feels so weird knowing that there won’t be any gravesite for us to go and visit Mama at.  No place to take her flowers to.  But Mama was right about the unnecessary costs,”  Marie sighed.  “Have you seen how much those Funeral Home places charge for those rectangular boxes they place the made-up bodies in ?  It costs thousands of dollars just for them to stick you in the ground to rot.  It’s obscenely ridiculous !”
“Obscenely ridiculous ?”  Cheyenne chuckled.
“Go ahead.  Make fun of me.  But charging thousands of dollars just to put someone in the ground is obscene and ridiculous.  Obscenely Ridiculous !”
“I apologize for ruffling your feathers, Marie.  And, as it just so happens, I agree with you.  But the thing that really gets to me about all of this, other than this oppressive grief and heaviness that hangs onto me each and every day since Mama’s passing, is that none of us really considered how Mama’s being Cremated would affect us.”
“I mean, all any of us wanted to do, was constantly reassure her that all of her wishes would be carried out.  In fact, in theory and artistry, it made perfect sense that she wanted half of her ashes scattered beneath her Prayer Tree, that huge oak tree that Liza and James call Hope.  And then have the other half of her ashes scattered in the Appalachians at the old Homestead that she and all of her brothers and sisters were raised at, like the Walton’s on t.v. years ago.  Perfect sense.”
“And you’re feeling that it’s weird for all of us to be scattering Mama everywhere all over kingdom come, and not having at least some part of her to hold on to also makes sense, because it’s not our Family’s way of normally dealing with the passing of a Loved One,”  Cheyenne added.  “It does feel weird.”
“Well, that’s the primary reason we’re doing our Silver Locket Ceremony,”  Marie remarked.
“Yeah, I thought that was such a good idea.  I’m glad Liza thought about it, and I’m glad that we’re dong it.”
Suddenly, all eight of the Family dogs jumped up and off of the front porch, and ran down Hump Hill barking incessantly at whoever was driving up the large hill.
“I’ll bet that’s Liza and Beth right now.  Those Dogs will chase them all the way back up Hump Hill.  In fact, look over there, Marie, Mama’s old Gander, Gussie is squawking after their car even louder than all of the Dogs put together.  That silly goose,” Cheyenne announced.
“Is Gussie still leaving his little wife, Gabbie, on the pond in the afternoons to follow Mama’s goat, Ice Cream, all around the place until evening ?”  Cheyenne asked.
“Ha !  Yes, that silly goose is in love with that old goat.  In fact, every now and then, Gussie herds all eight goats up the hill to eat in the evenings.  If I hadn’t seen him do it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it,”  Marie recounted.
“Remember, when Liza was planning on raising Bees and selling their
Honey ?”
“Yep, sure do,”  Cheyenne laughed.  “I suggested that she brand name it Hump Hill Honey, and tell folks that Hump Hill was a Natural Haven for discovering and exploring the native Texas Sweetness and Delight of the Birds and the Bees.”
“Ha !  I always thought that your idea would have drawn a laugh or two from any prospective customers,”  Marie confided.
“I thought so, too.  In fact, James loved my idea, but Liza is so proper.  She just turned beet red and said, ‘I don’t think so,’” Cheyenne giggled.  “Her attitude really stung me, so to speak.”
“Oh you.  We need to get serious, Cheyenne.  We’re sitting in Mama’s Home, and we’re getting ready to Share her Ashes in our Silver Lockets.  This needs to be a somber occasion.”
“And what did Mama Love to Do, Marie ?”  Cheyenne asked.
“She Loved to Laugh,”  Marie answered.
“I rest my case.  Mama’s Energy is surrounding us here in her Home in so many beautiful ways.  All of her Paintings, and the Special Garden Spots, Bird Aviaries and Stone Artistry she created all over the Land.  She wouldn’t want us to be depressed and somber.  She would want us to be Joyous and Together.”
The front screen door opened, and Liza, holding a large Urn with Mama’s Ashes was followed inside the Living Room by Beth.
“Well, here she is.  This is all that is left of Mama,”  Liza proclaimed as she held the large green Urn out toward Cheyenne and Marie.
“This is so weird,” Marie said flatly.
“Yeah, it is weird,” Beth agreed.
“Please, y’all, enough with everything being weird.  The weirdest thing of all is that Mama is no longer with us.  So, Liza, how did you see this Silver Locket Ceremony being carried out ?”  Cheyenne queried.
“I thought that we could put Mama’s Ashes into our Silver Heart Lockets here inside Mama’s House, and then we could all walk down to Hope…I mean, Mama’s Prayer Tree, and Share a few Prayers and Words amongst one another about Mama down there,”  Liza suggested.
“Sounds good to me,”  Cheyenne agreed.
“Me, too.  Me, too”  Beth and Marie chimed in.
“This is so weird,”  Marie added.
“Why don’t we pour a few of Mama’s Ashes out into one of her Special China Plates, and we can use one of her Special Silver Spoons to scoop her Ashes up with in order to put them into our Silver Heart Lockets ?”  Cheyenne offered.
“Why are we doing everything with Silver ?” Beth asked.
“Silver is associated with the Moon and the Divine Feminine.  And Mama liked Silver better than Gold,”  Cheyenne explained.
“What is this about the Divine Feminine ?  What does that have to do with Baby Jesus ?”  Marie demanded.
“Please, Girls, let’s not get into any philosophical debates today.  Mama liked Silver.  So, we’re using Silver.  Enough said,”  Liza interjected decidedly.
“Okay, I’ve got the Silver Spoon with the engraved Roses.  Who wants to go first ?”  Beth asked.
“You drove all the way to the Funeral Home to pick up Mama’s Ashes, Liza.  You should go first,” Cheyenne said.
“This is so weird,”  Marie added
Liza sat Mama’s Urn on top of the Kitchen Table.  She took the top off of the Urn, and began spilling Mama’s Ashes - Mama’s Earthly Remains into one of Mama’s Special China Plate’s.  “Do you think that’s enough for all of our Silver Heart Lockets ?”  Liza asked shakily.
“If it’s not, we can always take a few more of Mama’s Ashes out of the Urn, Liza,”  Marie answered.
“You’re right.  I don’t know why I asked that question,”  Liza said uncertainly.
“You said it, because all of this is so weird,”  Marie repeated her mantra.
“Should I close the front door ?  It’s pretty windy outside,”  Beth asked.
“We didn’t turn the air conditioning on, Beth.  We knew that all of today’s activities were going to be fairly brief because of all of our schedules. So we just latched the screen door, and left the front door open in order to air out the room, and cool things down so it wouldn’t be so unbearably hot in here,”  Marie explained.
Liza had already scooped up some of Mama’s Ashes with Mama’s Special Silver Spoon, and placed them inside her Special Silver Heart Locket.  She looked up smiling nervously, sweat beading her upper lip.  “I’m all done.  Who’s next ?”
“I’ll go,”  Marie insisted.  I want to get this part over with.  This is just too weird.”  Marie followed Liza’s steps precisely, and closing up her Silver Heart Locket filled with Mama’s Ashes said,  “Alright, who’s next ?”
Beth, with a very stern and concentrated look upon her face, picked up Mama’s Special Silver Spoon and scooped up some of Mama’s Ashes.  As she was pouring Mama’s Ashes into her Special Silver Heart Locket, Marie accidentally knocked her arm, as she was attempting to put her special Silver Heart Locket around her own neck.
“Oh no !”  Beth cried out in dismay.  “I dropped some of Mama’s Ashes onto the floor !”
All Four of the Sisters stared in superstitious horror and disbelief at the small, scattered heap of Mama’s Ashes on the floor.
“I am not going to be responsible for sweeping Mama up into a dust pan !”  Liza sputtered.
“It’s my fault,”  Marie said.  “I’m the one who knocked into Beth when she was scooping Mama up.  I’ll sweep Mama up and put her back onto her Special China Plate.”
“But there will be other things in there that are not Mama.  Not Mama at
all !” Liza exclaimed.
“Girls, please, let’s all calm down.  I don’t think that Mama would mind having a little dirt and dust form her Home added into the mix.  I mean added to her Ashes.  After all, in the end we’re all Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust,”  Cheyenne said reassuringly.
“Yeah, but not in a Dust Pan.  Not a Dust Pan !”  Beth whined.
“You’re right, not in a dust pan.  I’ll wet one of Mama’s dish towels, and pick up her Ashes with it.  I’ll use her favorite dish towel with Sea Gulls flying all over it,”  Cheyenne offered.
“Yeah, the Sea Gull dish towel.  That’s much better than a dust pan,”  Marie interjected.  “This is so weird.”
“Marie, I love you, but if I hear you say just how weird all of this is just one more time, I think that I shall scream.”  Cheyenne shuffled through one of her Mama’s many kitchen drawers for the Sea Gull dish towel.  “Found it !”  She waved it proudly through the air for all of her Sisters to see, before turning on the water faucet and wetting one corner of it.
Bending down, Cheyenne carefully wiped up all of her Mama’s Ashes, that she could see, and returned them, along with a few other foreign particles of dust and dirt, to Mama’s Special China Plate.  She then took up her own Special Silver Heart Locket, and scooping up some of her Mama’s Ashes with her Mama’s Special Silver Spoon very gently filled her Locket with her Mama’s Earthly Remains.  She then closed her Special Silver Locket, and asked her Sister Liza to help her clasp it around her neck.
“Alright, Girls.  Shall we proceed to Mama’s Prayer Tree, otherwise known as Hope ?’  Cheyenne asked.
With that all Four Sisters piled out of their Mama’s Home, and headed down Hump Hill toward their Mama’s Prayer Tree followed by eight Dogs, a squawking Gander herding eight Goats, two curious Ponies, a few interested Chickens, and the Songs of a multitude of well fed and watered Wild Birds and buzzing Bees.
The Four Sisters each said a few very Special Prayers and Words of Love and Memory about their Exceptionally Special Mama underneath Hope, Mama‘s Prayer Tree.  Then smiling through all of their tears, bitter-sweet, they wrapped their arms around one another in a big Circle Hug.
Their special Silver Heart Lockets glimmering in the noon day sun, they laughed and cried amongst one another while Singing, “Blessed Be the Ties that Bind’.

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