My friend, Heather from Oklahoma, was passing through my area one evening this week and we were able to meet for dinner. It was really good to see her face and get caught up on her life. She and her husband Scott had just had their first child right before Chris and I moved. One of the last things we did before leaving OKC was to go over to their house and smell their baby's head and give her an Ugly Doll. I can't believe that child is six years old now. Any way, we had a nice evening catching up and telling stories. All is well in their home and their life is full. Some where along the line the topic of Chris's ashes came up. Heather said that she had been meaning to ask me about them and how I had to be starting to run out of ashes. I told her about seeing an end to it all.
The first time I opened Chris's coffee can to take out ashes, I thought that I would never reach a point where I would run out. It seemed as though I never made a dent in the amount of Chris's ashes left in that can. It was like a bottomless can of ashes. When I opened it to fill up a container for our last trip, the Abe Lincoln Tour, I felt the spoon hit the bottom of the coffee can. It sort of jarred me. I paused in my task because it suddenly felt like this thing that I do with Chris's ashes was really something finite. There is going to be a day when I run out of ashes and I have mixed feelings about this. I am thankful, though, for the knowledge that one day I will not be posting about the places where I have left Chris. I am thankful that it is just a chapter in my life and that one day I will go on vacation without researching interesting places to leave his ashes. I just keep thinking about that moment in Up when Carl realizes that Ellie's memory book doesn't end with her dream of seeing Paradise Falls. It is a bitter sweet kind of gratitude. Relief to have completed this drawn out memorial and a sadness over to be finally done with it all.
I do still have doubts about my decision for what I do with Chris's ashes. I can imagine running into him in the afterlife and him saying "What the fuck? You've scattered me all over the damn place. This is what you decided to do with me?!?" I easily shrug those doubts aside because he never gave me any kind of answer for what he wanted. Also, there is a lot of humor involved in leaving Chris's ashes in different places. I know he would find the whole thing hilarious. I'm thinking I need to plan something big for that last bit of ashes. Thailand or outer space or maybe that's the Appalachian trail trip. I don't know. I am thankful that I don't look back and think about the things we didn't get a chance to do together, but all of the things we did get to do. These new adventures for me are honoring Chris and his views on life. I am thankful for Michael who has and is 100% on board with all of this. In fact, he encourages me to bring extra ashes with us on trips in case there turns out to be more than one ideal spot for Chris. I am thankful he understands.
I am so, so grateful to have been able to spend time with Heather this week and meeting some her friends. I am thankful for the rain that has broken our heat wave. I am thankful for the purple hulled peas that are ready for harvesting in our garden. I am thankful for my yoga mat. I am thankful for you.
Here's to a lovely weekend and a super Thankful Friday.