Mom And I Talk About Death And Bikinis

Mom sits on the porch of the house she was born in nearly 100 years ago.
Mom sits on the porch of the house she was born in nearly 100 years ago.

Daily Prompt: FAQ

Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman — and write a post based on their responses.

It was on that drive in the late 80’s from Houston that Mom said out of the blue, “I want to be cremated.”

We had just attended her younger brother’s funeral.

“That’s fine, Mom,” I said.

“But your sisters won’t let that happen,” Mom said.

“If it’s a part of your will and you make arrangement with the funeral home before hand there is hardly anything they can do about it,” I said. “And you have expressed your wishes to me.”

We drove on for a while and nothing was said.

“Is death something you would like to talk about?” I said.

“I just think when you’re dead that’s it,” Mom said.

“What makes you think that way?” I said.

“It’s just logical,” Mom said. “Heaven ain’t no place for me. I wouldn’t know what to do once I got there. Don‘t get me wrong, I believe in God, but I just think when you die that‘s it! And besides if your spirit or soul goes to heaven what makes the difference whether the body is kept someplace or not, so you might as well burn it. That way ya don‘t take up so much space. That may put a gravedigger out of work for a day, but he needs the time with his family anyway.”

“Well it’s nice of you to think of the gravedigger when it comes to your death,” I said.

Mom laughed. “I’m always looking out for the other guy.”

We drove on.

“Mom do you remember the scripture that starts ’the meek shall inherit the…’”

“’The earth.’” Mom said.

“Yes,“ I said. “If you could live on the earth forever, you know, ’inherit’ the earth, what would you like to do?”

“But I don’t want to live forever,” Mom said.

“Than when do you want to die?” I said.

“I’d just like to travel and see everything,” She smiled. “I guess nobody wants to die.”

“The Bible says that God has put the desire not to die in our hearts,” I said. “And so that we don’t have a life without hope he’s given the hope of inheriting the earth.”

“Seeing the Grand Canyon makes more sense than playing a harp on a cloud,” Mom said.

There was a couple of miles of silence.

“What would you like done with your ashes?” I said.

“Just don’t put me in a jar and on a mantle someplace,” Mom said. “I don’t like people staring at me.”

Mom has outlived a husband, another male companion of twenty years, and her daughters. At the death of her daughter and my sister in December of 2010 she denied any such conversation took place and appeared indignant that such a thing would be suggested.

I smiled at her and said, “Listen here you old battle-ax, when you’re dead, I’m having you cremated and stuffed in a glass jar. You’ll be naked and everybody will be staring at you. There! Thank about that for awhile.”

“Could you paint one of those little bikinis on the jar?” Mom said. “It’s what they don’t see that drives men crazy.”

FAQ bloggers:

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  1. Really enjoyed your post! And that line about seeing the Grand Canyon making more sense than playing a harp on a cloud really stuck out to me.

    1. It all makes sense. Not one of us can really imagine playing harps or fluttering around, but God gave man the earth and the heavens belongs to him, his son, and the angles.
      Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. I am so glad I stopped by your post tonight. It is always good to read something that brings on a smile. Your mom must be a character! Treasure every moment you have with her … they are priceless 🙂

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