My dear wife Karen was a bit unsettled when I got home from work recently.
She obviously had something out of the ordinary to tell me.
We’d received a package, she said, leading me up the stairs to the guest room.
It was covered with brown paper for shipping. I saw the word Cremains stamped on the outside.
My mind raced. Frankly, I didn’t know what to think.
The first place I went was the passing a year ago of my sister Frannie. But why would my brother-in-law send her remains here in the mail? Something in her will, perhaps, about a year down the road? I tried to call him, but as usual, my call went right to his full message box. He’s taken over Frannie’s cell without the savvy nor wanna to learn the finer points of voice mail. The only way we connect is if he sees my name pop up and answers, or if he calls me.
I called my sister Dory, and she said she and the kids had visited with him a week past and all was fine. No mention of a package.
I looked at the brown wrapper more closely.
My father’s name was on top of the return address.
He passed more than a dozen years ago.
Karen and I opened the box.
It was from his stepdaughter. Her Mom, married to Frank for more than 30 years, had recently passed away, she explained. She thought his ashes belong with us.
I still had Dory on the line as we solved the mystery.
I’m OK with this, I declared.
She agreed that a trip north to honor the receiving of Frank was due. We’ll figure out what we want to do. Spread? Memorial?
For now, though, Frank rests on a shelf, the first visitor in the guest room of A Bitty Better.
Life sure brings surprises.