There was one point when writing Acceptance that I was crying so hard I could hardly see to type. It happened again this morning while working on See You In The Morning:
Dave stood at the head of the table. “There’s something Dad and I want to discuss with all of you, especially you four kids. We’ve been talking since the celebration in June. We aren’t getting any younger. We’re both in our seventies now. Soon one of us is going to die…”
“Papa, don’t talk like that!” Chrissy interrupted him.
“Baby, remember when Grandpa Jerry died? I told you then ‘death is a part of life.’ We all come to that time, some of us sooner than others.”
“Are you and Dad okay?” Ben asked.
“There’s nothing wrong with either of us except that our bones creak a bit and we move a little slower. We both had physicals last month and everything’s fine,” Jake answered.
“So why bring it up now?” Mary asked.
“Because Dad and I want you to know our wishes. What we want to happen to us,” Dave said. “We’ve been talking and we want to be together. We’ve been together for over fifty years and don’t think it should end with our deaths,” Dave explained.
“So what do you want?” Ben asked.
Dave handed each of them an envelope. “Inside these envelopes are notarized statements. It isn’t our wills. Those are in the safe deposit box at the bank. Ben, you and Mary are authorized to get into that box since you are the two oldest.
“This envelope contains what we would like to have done with our bodies.”
Jake took over. “We want to be cremated. I know there was a time cremation was not as common as it is now. We have pre-paid plans that are also in the safe deposit box. Whichever one of us dies first, the other is to keep his ashes. When we’re both gone, one of you kids, or all four of you, is to take both of us to Point Bonita. There where we had our first kiss, where we got married, is where we want to be together.”
Tears cascaded down Mary and Chrissy’s cheeks and sobs wracked their bodies.
“Of course, you kids may not be able to get all the way down and back up. You may have to send one of the grandkids or great-grandkids,” Dave said with a smile. “Mary, Chrissy, save your tears for when we’re gone. Celebrate while we’re still here.”
Ben stood up and raised his glass. “A toast to our fathers. Two of the greatest men I know. They may not be famous, but they made a big difference in our lives.”