A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, June 13, 2008

This one comes with a disclaimer

Disclaimer: The following post, although true, may sound disturbing. It disturbed the hell out of us initially.

So there we are driving round in Tucson a week ago Tuesday, sipping our Starbucks iced coffees, enjoying the desert and the memories - when Ed's cell phone rings. It's a call from his brother who I'll call "Bro". Here's what I hear:

This is Ed. Hey, what's up. What? Yes, I know. What do you mean? WHAT?!?!? Who broke in? Your radio? What do you mean you forgot?!?! Here, talk to Sandi.

Ed hands me the phone.

Me: Hello
Bro: Sandi, it's me, Bro
Me: Oh, hi! What's up?
Bro: I lost Pop
Me: Excuse me?
Bro: I lost Pop. He got ripped off out of my car on Friday night.
Me: WHAT?!?!?
Bro: Yeah, someone broke into the car and stole my radio, my DVD faceplate and Pop.

Now let me go back just a bit. Ed's father passed away in January. His mom has passed in January of 2007 and we found a very secluded place in Yosemite to spread her ashes since that was the only place they ever went on vacation and Pop thought it would be nice. The plan was to spread Pop's ashes with hers and our plan was to meet up with Bro in Yosemite last weekend on our way back from Tucson. He lives and works there. Bro is really a great guy. He's honest, would do anything for you, he's loving and considerate. However, he's in his mid-50's and very much still a "hippie". Longish hair, raggedy clothes, lives in a cabin in Yosemite and loves it, has a close friend names Mary Jane (if you get my drift) and lives a totally different type of life than we do. As Ed often says, he's a Type A (more like an A++) and Bro is a Type Z. Bro and Pop were both similar in that they things just rolled off their backs, they looked at life as something to get through and not stress over, everything would get done "soon" or "tomorrow" or "yeah, I'll get to that". So the fact that Bro locked his car but left the window half way down isn't really so strange.

When Bro was here for dinner the weekend before we left for Tucson, we asked him to take Pop back with him because it didn't seem right having him in our car all the way to Tucson and on our travels around town. Well, at the time it seemed like a logical request. In retrospect.....

So Bro put Pop in the back seat and drove back to Yosemite. When he got there HE FORGOT that Pop was in the car. So Pop rode around Yosemite for the week and then wound up heading back down here for the weekend. That's when Bro locked the car with the window down. Some not-very-bright thieves saw the blue felt bag with the box in it. They took the box out of the bag, opened the box, and took the plastic bag of ashes with them. Left the box and bag behind. Our guess is that they thought they found a huge stash of drugs and were quite proud of themselves.

When we finally hung up after hearing the news, Ed was beside himself. When he had answered the phone, Bro has said, "Ed, Pop is gone". Ed thought maybe Bro was just realizing that Pop was indeed gone and tried to sound sympathetic. Then Bro said, "No, I mean he's gone. Someone stole him." Which is when the phone got handed to me.

We were both angry, frustrated, sad - the whole gamut of emotions. How could he let that happen? What in the hell was he thinking? WAS he thinking?!?!? And what could we do. Something like this is totally irreversible. Can't be fixed. And Ed really didn't want to let this cause a rift between him and his brother. The only thing that got us through the next couple of days is knowing that, if Pop heard this story or if he was looking down at the drama, he would be laughing his ass off! Trust me. He didn't take anything very seriously, didn't worry about death, figured once you're gone you're gone so what's the big deal. And he had this jolly, silent belly laugh that would light up his whole face. You couldn't hear anything, but you'd see his belly bouncing up and down, his eyes tearing, and his whole face in a huge grin. So, yes, he'd be laughing if we told him the story.

We weren't laughing. But we had to finally let go of the negative feelings - they didn't benefit anybody and couldn't fix the situation. However, we did cancel our plans to go to Yosemite that weekend.

And, as if that weren't enough. Bro was down here for dinner again last Sunday after we returned. Of course, we started talking about the theft and I told Bro that as upset as we were, I'm glad he told us and didn't try to fill another bag with sand or something and pretend nothing had happened. Here's the conversation that followed.

Bro: You know, after I told you guys, I started thinking that maybe I shouldn't have said anything and just gone and gotten some more ashes to put in the box.
Me: What? Where would you go to get ashes?
Bro: I'd just go to a crematorium and get some.
Me: Bro, you can't just go to a crematorium and get ashes. Those are people! They don't have surplus!
Bro: I thought maybe there would be some around the furnace or people they had cremated who were like John Does.
Me: What are you thinking?!?!? First, they don't spill them out of the furnace like a BBQ pit or a fireplace! And they don't keep spare ashes around from unclaimed people! What do you think they do - have a barrel of ashes that you can buy by the pound?!?!?
Bro: I don't know, I thought maybe if I explained what had happened they could help out.
Me: Oh, my god! I do not believe we're having this conversation.

Meanwhile, Ed is standing there laughing so hard that tears are rolling down his cheeks. I'm completely blown away by the whole discussion. And, I guarantee, somewhere Pop's belly is shaking with laughter.

We love you, Pop. We miss you horribly. Sorry we couldn't reunite you with Mom. But you both will always be in our hearts.



OMG! I am speechless! I wouldn't know how to react or what to do. I have no comment on this one. I feel sad that Pop got stolen.

ira said...

It sounded atrocious! I got a bit upset reading it, but like I've always said, you have a knack for finding something positive about every situation!
Pop'l understand! :)

namaste said...

LOL!!! this is HILARIOUS sandi! OMG!! yes yes, it's upsetting that pop's remains were lost. but trust me when i tell you, pop was reunited with mom the minute he took his last breath. i hope when you see your brother-in-law again you give him a big, long hug to let him know that it's really okay between you guys.

((((hugs)))) to you and ed for eventually taking it in stride.



MMrussianadoption said...

this has to be one of your more bizarre posts

Desert Diva said...

What can you do? I'm sure that "Bro" didn't do it on purpose even though he sounds somewhat irresponsible.

Yes, it's upsetting but I think that you and Ed handled it with grace and style. Even thought it would have been nice to scatter the ashes with "Mom," I have to think that "Pop" is together with her in spirit.

As for the thieves, I think there's something called "Karma" that will catch up with them!

Nikki said...

OK this is hilarious! I think you should call the news station and tell them to broadcast it to the theives that stole a blue box stole POP...you can't make this stuff up! Like I said before you guys are a sitcom! My aunt Sherry tells of how when her father in law died he wanted his ashes thrown across the Puget sound in Seattle...so they headed out on a fairy to throw the ashes and as she was hurling dad over the edge a huge gust of wind came and they all got covered in dad...she said she even inhaled some! ew. and then when she got home and took a shower all she could think of was dad going down the drain...only part of him made it to the puget sound!! :)N

Jenni said...

You should have posted the prequel to this story as well: when you spread "Mom's" ashes and a wind blew them back all over Bro.

I hope one of the thieves tried to snort Pop and wound up with a bone fragment stuck painfully high up their nose.

kate said...

This is a sitcome episode.

I'm glad to know that Pop would've appreciated the ridiculouness of the situation--and that there was been reconciliation with Bro.

Maybe he's right. Maybe there's a market for ashes by the pound... (I would try a camp fire first, but...)

Rachael said...

This has evening news human interest story written all over it. You think the theives would give Pop back if they only knew where to? (Glad you are able to find a sense of humor about the situation.)