Today, I want to introduce you to one of my amazing friends, Jillian. Jillian is hilarious and kind and laughs at my horrible jokes when everyone else thinks that I'm insane. The other day, she was telling me this hilarious story and I was like, "Bitch, you have to let me put that on my blog. Holy shit. That's so funny."
AND SHE AGREED.
If you would like to go tell Jillian how awesome and hilarious she is, you can find her @JilliebeanT on Twitter. Remember, she is my friend so she is under my protection.
I don't know how people will take this because it's kind of a morbid topic but at the same time when sad things happen, sometimes there are humorous events that occur during those moments. So here goes nothing. I hope I don't offend anyone and I certainly mean no disrespect to my father. My daughter was born in mid July 1997. Thankfully, my dad was able to meet her and we have a great picture of him beside our Christmas tree, with a huge smile, holding her. Almost one year after, on July 2, 1998, I got a phone call I'll never forget. My ex and I were actually in the middle of viewing the house we would eventually move into. She was checking our voicemail messages and she had this look of shock on her face and she told me that my dad's girlfriend called and advised he passed away that night. When I got home, my apartment manager advised the police were there to let us know that he had passed as well. It's a very surreal moment. We were not close but he was still my dad. We were just starting to rebuild our relationship. Such is life.
Just months before, we sat down together and wrote out his final wishes. He wanted to be sprinkled in the Fraser River which is this gross, dirty, and polluted river in Vancouver. He thought it would be easiest for my 3 siblings and me. As kids growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we used to go camping in Banff National Park all the time. Not just on vacation, but on many weekends too, since it was only an hour and a half from Calgary. We would always go fishing at 2 lakes. One was Lake Minnewanka and the other was 2 Jack Lake, which was where we camped. There was a little pump house there that we fished at. As my siblings and I discussed what we should do, we decided that rather than the dirty Fraser River, sprinkling him in the pristine glacial waters of the 2 lakes we had good memories at would be what he would have preferred. It was a place he loved in life because it reminded him of his native Switzerland. He was cremated as he requested. It's actually quite shocking that a person can fit into such a small box weighing maybe 3 pounds. It was just grey ash. He sat in my closet for a few years. In 2001 or 2002 we went on the first family camping trip with my 2 sisters, their husbands, my niece, nephews, and our 2 children. My brother opted not to come. Our first dilemma was figuring out the logistics of sprinkling him. He was in this plastic bag and we had to transfer him somehow to some other vessel. We decided on pop bottles. A Rye bottle would have been far more appropriate but none of us drank Rye, let alone enough to get 2 bottles. I thought I was smart and brought a funnel. Well, amazingly, the ash was not quite as fine as I anticipated. As in life, dad had to try to be difficult in death and he got stuck. We found small twigs and tried poking him through but it wasn't working. Some pieces were too big. Damn you dad. This was already unpleasant, why do you have to make it more so? Well, we decided to make a paper funnel which was far more effective. We split him into two bottles. Our plan was to sprinkle him at the pump house where we fished and also to rent 2 boats and sprinkle him in Lake Minnewanka. The pump house sprinkle worked as planned. Nothing special happened. We said prayers and wished him well where ever he may be. His life was iffy, so we don't know. Plus he was an atheist and my understanding is God doesn't look kindly on that. lol We then went to the big lake and rented the boats. We motored out to the middle of the lake. It was windy. As much as it was a somber moment there was also a peace knowing he wasn't in pain anymore. We got to the spot we decided to sprinkle the rest of him at. My sisters and I moved to the front of the boat. We did a count as we tried to sprinkle him at the same time. Caitie, who was 4 or 5, was sitting in the back. My step son was thrilled because he got to steer the little motor boat as we moved slowly through the water. Three, two, one, and our count hit zero and we started sprinkling away. It's really was a lot like dust. We weren't 10 seconds into sprinkling him out of the bottle when my daughter started screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Grampa is in my eyes, Grampa. Is. In. My. Eyes!”
The wind carried the ash backwards and right into the poor darling's eyes. We all laughed in hysterics as it totally broke what was kind of a somber moment. Of course in working out the logistics, we never considered that the wind would blow the ash to the back of the boat. In our minds it would just drop into the lake. He will forever be a part of my daughter... lol God has such a sense of humour at times.