Friday, August 10, 2018

Firsts and Cremation

Historical Photo:
 Repeating Dell's Wisconsin

Before I attempt to write, I wanted to say that Jim, Shirl’s hubby’s oldest son Armin, and his wife Julie came down for a two day visit. We had a wonderful time. Armin had a chance to look over items related to his dad. Jim had been an officer in the Army stationed in Germany. He met and married the mother of Armin and Eric, his first wife.

I was glad to see Armin take his dad’s ‘Lieutenant’s bars’, NC State class ring, HS ring and wedding band. They left with a car loaded. Also leaving a sweet feeling with invites for us to come up and them back when they could. 

While here he called Eric to send pictures of items he might be interested in. Eric said his daughter may want the dining room suite, but later called back saying ‘no.’

In our family Shirl was the first and only member to graduate High School. She married just out of HS to a boy from a respected family, but he was a ‘skirt chaser’, so therefore she suffered the FIRST ever divorce in our family.

Shirl was the first and only person in the family to marry a college grad (an Aerospace Engineer).

Shirl was the first and only member of our family to ‘drag-race’ legally (on a drag-strip, not on a city street, like her brothers) (She also won! Unlike her brothers)
She was the first in the family to live in a city.

NOW.. She has just been another FIRST. She is the first of our family to be Cremated. The first with no published obit, and the first with NO traditional funeral.

Both our sons wanted to be present at the spreading of the ashes. Amazing a 120lb lady is reduced to three pounds of ashes. She asked me to have them spread over her husband Jim’s grave.

It is recommended to spread ashes on a ‘windless’ day. This one started out that way. But a very bad storm came up as we approached the cemetery. Maybe Jim asked a favor, because just after was parked in the cemetery the rain and wind stopped and it was calm just long enough for son Mark to do the honor of spreading Shirley’s ashes.

I had time for a short talk with Shirl, she and Jim were busy catching up. I followed all her wishes… Well I did have to modify one. I tried to explain and asked her to check with Jim about it. She did and he agreed with me. Of course she still did not like it, but said it was OK (that is Shirl).

 I still love you Shirley Maxine. I think she was thinking of me, and I appreciate it. Closing out another’s life is HARD, she made it easier on me. Thank you Shirley. So now I am going to apologize for locking the Hen house door while you were inside when I was 5 years old.

Yeah, I know it is my first apology, but I needed a FIRST.
Today officially wraps up Shirley Maxine Darnell Wrape’s life. Will is probated, funds dispersed, all debts paid and the ashes are spread. Shirley is gone but big sisters are never forgotten.

Nite Shipslog
PS:   Tomorrow 'Let's talk Cremation.'
 1947 Packard


Chatty Crone said...

What a poignant story and memory there Jack. It was truly lovely. Did the cemetery where he was buried at allow that? Or did you just do it. I think no I know - you did your sister right. You will never have to feel bad or say you are sorry. Hugs, sandie

betty said...

We will never forget Shirl, she was one special lady. We never got to meet her in person but her legacy will continue to live on. You honored her well with her wishes and fulfilled (most of them or close to all of them) as you could. You were a great little brother in doing so. I am sure she forgive you long ago for locking her up when you were such a tender age. Now it is time for you and Sherry to plan your next adventure.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful sister with us. Thanks to you we now know all about her and the firsts she had and also the first for you. Traditionally cremation was never done. But now a days it is more popular than not. I mentioned to my children that I thought that was the way I'd want to go and they all frowned at me. I figure I won't be around to care so it'll really be up to them. Glad all is done and over, but like you said those we love are never forgotten.

Mevely317 said...

A wonderfully poignant telling, my friend. Thank you for allowing us to accompany your final (brotherly) journey.

PS - Loved the way you turned the tables at the end there, and made me laugh. Captive in a chicken coop … I can't even imagine!

Rick Watson said...

I’ve lost my oldest and youngest brothers. Both deaths knocked me for a loop.

This was a touching post Jack.