Today is Super Bowl Sunday and for me the day will be bittersweet. I’m not much of a sports fan but four years ago Mrs. Chatterbox and I had a little Super Bowl party. We like to scarf down a few munchies, watch the commercials and wonder what the game is all about. My parents had recently moved to the area and we included them.
We had the best time ever. I can’t remember Dad enjoying himself so much. The game was exciting, and after driving home Dad called to tell me what a great time he’d had. I never spoke with him again. The next morning Mom found him in his favorite chair. Dad had died from a heart attack. My parents had been married for fifty-nine years.
In the days to come my mother’s brain was understandably short-circuited by grief. Looking back on this painful experience I can now find a trace of humor in it. After dad was cremated Mom said to me, “I’ve decided what to do with your father’s ashes.”
I was surprised. I’d thought Dad would end up in the family cemetery where his parents and sister (and Mom’s family) were buried.
“No, I’ve thought of something special to honor your father.”
“Really, what do you have in mind?” I asked.
“I’m going to have your father’s ashes thrown out of an airplane. Over the ocean.”
I thought about it for a moment, trying to hold my tongue, but in the end my proclivity to render opinions won out. Dad had never let me down when he was alive and I felt that he needed me now. “Mom, that’s a thoughtful idea, but I don’t think Dad would have wanted it.”
“Why not?” she asked, sharply.
I gave her two reasons. “First, while it’s true that Dad was a pilot and loved to fly, he
spent his life trying not to plummet from the sky. It seems cruel to dump his ashes out of
a plane. And another thing…”
“Go on,” Mom said.
“Dad wasn’t a confident swimmer and was terrified of the ocean. To scatter his ashes over a place that terrified him just doesn’t seem right.”
In the end Dad was interred in the family cemetery where he’d always assumed he’d be laid to rest. So now for the public service announcement. If you’re watching the game today with your dad, stop for a moment to appreciate him. We never know how much time we have left together. If you aren’t watching the game with your dad, give him a call and tell him you wish you could be spending the day together.
As for your wife, be sure and tell her what you want done with your ashes or you could end up taking a dive from 10,000 feet into a very large swimming pool.
Enjoy the Super Bowl.
Check out Dad's amazing superpower here.