Coffee heat rising

Whither the Hereafter?

So. I need to decide where I want to be interred, with what amount and kind of rigamarole (if any), and how much it’s gonna cost.

So? To start with, Decision #1 = whether I’ll be displayed in the same mausoleum where my parents are, or whether I’ll ask to be buried in the Close down at the beloved church.


I’m afraid there’s a BIG reason I don’t want to be deposited next to my parents. It’s called “Helen,” the dear soul my father married after my mother died.

My mother had not wanted to move into Orangewood, the life-care community that he had decided was a grand (and, more to the point: safe) place for them to spend the last few years of their lives. To her, it looked like a nursing home. And it was, largely, in that most of the inmates declined into decrepitude over time and ended up in the depressing long-term care wing. She viewed that with horror and refused to go.

So he managed to put it off until she came down with the cancer that killed her, thanks to the ministrations of the tobacco industry.

This meant he had to care for her in their home during her horrible last days, until she finally got so sick their insurance would cover her care in a medical facility. At that point, he transferred her to a nursing home in central Phoenix, not far from where DXH and I were living.

After she died, he couldn’t bring himself to stay in the little house in Sun City. For understandable reasons: the memories associated with it would have been hideous. Plus by then he was simply exhausted, and caring for a house and a yard must have been more than he could contemplate.

So: a few months later, off he went to Orangewood, It was, in fact, within walking distance of my home — whether I was still living with DXH or even whether I was living here in the ‘Hood, whence I’d moved when DXH and I divorced.

Even as he passed through his 70s, he was still a good-looking man: tall, dark, and yep: very handsome.

The minute he walked into Orangewood’s dining room, the Dragon Lady spotted him…and closed in.

Within weeks they were an Item. Within a few months, they were sitting in our living room telling me and my then-husband they wanted to get married.


If I’d had any sense (most assuredly I did not!) I would’ve said, “Daddy! Slow down! Wait for six months, ideally a year, and then decide if you want to get married.”

If he’d done that, he would have escaped a gigantic sh!tload of grief and misery.

But ohhhh no! I was way, way too stupid to come up with that.

Didn’t take long after the ceremony and the conjoining of living spaces for him to understand this was a fully miserable arrangement.

Damn it! If he’d just waited six months, he would’ve realized don’t do that! But he didn’t know any better. I didn’t know any better. And so the mean and nasty Helen snabbed him.

The result: month on month of dead-end misery.

He would do things like telling her he was taking the car to the Ford dealership to be serviced; then go sit in the parking lot and smoke in silence and peace all afternoon. (She wouldn’t allow him to smoke in the apartment.) If that was better than loafing in his recliner in front of his television…well, it gives you some idea of what married life must have been with that harridan.

Seriously: she was one of the meanest people I’ve ever met. Quite possibly the single meanest person.

Before long, I simply refused to be in the same place where she was. So he got to fend her off all by himself.

Why didn’t he divorce her?

Because, said he, she’ll get all my money!

Why was I too stupid to say to him, Daddy, you have access to the most powerful lawyers in the state, maybe even in the Southwest, through my husband? I dunno. It WAS stupid. It would have helped if the then-Dear Husband had suggested some such thing.

So life went on. So life finally ended.

He was interred, according to his agreement with the Sun City mausoleum where my mother’s cremains were parked, next to my mother’s urn of ashes.


Time passes. The Wicked Bitch of the West passes on to her own furry fathers. I don’t know much about this, because I haven’t stayed current with those people, because I don’t like them, I don’t like their extreme right-wing politics, and they don’t like me. Or my husband, the chair of the state board of the (horrors!) American Civil Liberties Union and a member of national board of that fine, seditious organization.

More time passes.

And now we’re drawing nigh unto time for me to go. I’m thinking I’d like to be put to rest with my parents, much as I detested Sun City (the Home of the White and the Bigoted). So I start to explore around, and…


…and I discover the relatives have deposited the ashes of the Horrible Helen next to my father’s and my mother’s!

Holeee sheee-ut!

So. Now I’m thinking, a bit frantically, sorry, Daddy, but I am NOT going to be interred next to that hideous woman!


What to do, what to do???

Some checking around reveals that apparently it’s going to cost some enormous amount of money to get myself deposited in the church’s close. And…hang onto your hat: that transferring my parents’ cremains over there — just piles of ashes in ceramic urns — will cost FIFTEEN HUNDRED BUCKS APIECE!

Holeeeee shee-ut.

So I don’t know what to do.

I can’t afford to spend three thousand dollars — before I even arrange for my own disposal! — to move my mother and father’s remains over to the church.

But forgodsake!!!!!!!!  How CAN I say how much it irks me that my poor father and my beloved mother are deposited next to that horrid, horrid woman, the woman who made the last few years of my father’s life utterly miserable?


I’m thinking that, whenever I catch my breath and compose myself, I may betake myself to the Sun City mausoleum and ask if my parents and I could please be deposited together in one place.

Is that stupid, is that pointless? Or is that stupid and pointless?

I know it doesn’t matter. I know once we’re dead, none of us is gonna know from nothing. So, for pity’s sake, why do I care?

But for reasons I cannot grasp, I do care.

It’s the principle of the thing, I guess.