Monday, August 15, 2011


Today it rained, it poured, it thundered, and it lightening-ed.

And in the midst of it all, I buried my uncle's ashes.

The box containing his "cremains" had been sitting in the corner of my aunt's kitchen since August of last year.

Something had to be done.

I called the cemetery where the family plot is located, knowing that there was one empty grave remaining in the plot. The caretaker graciously agreed to open a hole in the remaining grave.

For $650.00.

Frankly, I could have dug it myself for a lot less, but there you have it.

The rain let up for about 30 minutes this afternoon. Unfortunately I was still driving to the cemetery when that 30 minute window was open. By the time I arrived, the rain had resumed, accompanied by thunder and lightening.

"Very funny, Uncle Bob," I muttered as I sat in my car, waiting for a break.

At one point the storm rolled overhead with a thunder crash so loud that I flubbed the check I was writing at the time. For $650.00.

Guess Uncle Bob didn't like the price either.

Finally the thunder moved off and I got out of my car in the pouring rain. I quickly set the box of ashes in the hole and carefully placed a tiny Swiss flag and then a tiny U.S. flag on top. The caretaker was nice enough to ask me about my uncle, and I spoke about him for a minute or so.

Uncle Bob was born in Switzerland and served in the Swiss army during WWII. He came to the U.S. in 1948, married my aunt in 1950, and returned to Switzerland only for visits after that. He was a naturalized American citizen and very proud to be so. He was also proud of his Swiss heritage. Hence my putting both flags in his grave.

My memories of him include his Swiss-German accent, his remarkable skill for gardening, and his extraordinary energy and vitality. I sure hope he made it to Heaven. I would like to see him again someday!

- Catherine


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

So many people i want to see again, and some i want to meet for the first time, having made their acquaintance in old photos and letters. Uncle Bob sounds like a good and interesting guy.

Joyce said...

The weather in NJ has been something this week! Glad you were able to do this for your uncle and your aunt both.