Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Ashes to Ashes
Donna, the woman on the left, was one of my co-workers at Mt. Hood and I came to love her like a dear grandmother. My favorite days at work were the days when just Donna and I would work outside in the booth and I would be her "helper", walking back and forth to the RVs, assisting in their check-in. She would jokingly bully me around and her nickname for me was shit-ass.
Donna's life has never been easy and she wears those hard years on her face. She started working in a truck stop restaurant when she was 14 and was raised by her grandmother. Her grandmother told her "Donna, trust me, you will always be working class". I loved all the stories she told me and oh, how she made me laugh:). I loved her scowls, sharp tongue and toughness because underneath was a heart of gold. She was the heart and soul of the office, had been there many years, and you always knew you were talking to Donna because she called you "ma dear".
There is some question as to how many husbands she had been through, I only know of two, but her last husband, John, died a few years ago and she now lives contentedly alone with her dog Bubba. John was from the New Mexico area so when Donna found out that is where I was headed, she asked if I would take some of John's ashes with me to distribute in New Mexico.
I felt very honored that Donna would entrust me with this mission, but also apprehensive. I am happy to walk in other realms, but I don't do dead people! Some people are quite comfortable communicating with the dead, I am just not one of them. I have had a few encounters, usually just a quick message that needs to be passed along, but I have not signed on for that particular mission, which suits me just fine. I had no problem taking John with me, as long as he kept to himself and knew the rules...you bother me, try to communicate or are present in any way, I will dump your ass/ashes along the roadside! I also made sure Donna talked to him in case he wasn't listening to me and she assured me she gave him a good talkin' to.
I traveled with his ashes for two weeks and most of the time I completely forgot I even had them. And when I did remember, there was a brief, certain sweetness that I felt. Driving through a spot of particular beauty I got the message loud and clear that it was time. As soon as I could, I pulled off the highway onto Route 6 which was the route to Los Lunas, and there I spread his ashes. There didn't seem to be any need of a ceremony, I guess he wasn't that type of guy, but I know part of him now rests in this land that he loved and was born in. I hope some of his ashes will float up with the breeze and catch a ride with some of the air balloons that will soon fill the sky.
Thanks John, it was an honor.