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home : columnists : columnists May 27, 2016

4/10/2014 9:18:00 AM
Along the Way...

It doesn't seem morbid to talk about your own funeral with friends who work for a funeral home. They seem comfortable dealing with this part of life.

Although it might seem like a subject you don't want to bring up... kind of scary in fact. Sometimes it almost seems like if you don't think about it... that whoever in the universe is in charge of these things might forget about you... and forget about when your time is up... so why attract his attention?

But it might also be easier to think about these things in a small town where you not only know the funeral director but probably the doctor who assisted you at your birth.

Although I have only lived here a few decades and will always be considered a "newcomer," folks here have taught me many good things.

Recently I went to the funeral of a neighbor, Melroy Thompson. Several years ago his wife Cathy and I wrote an article for the newspaper about Mel's descent into Alzheimer's disease.

The reason was to share the ongoing tragic events of this problem so others who may face it would have some warning... some inkling of what might happen... and what to do.

Mel was a true cowboy. He raised horses. He had loved them since he was a child. He was a member of the local saddle club. You might have seen him in a parade. I figured that at his funeral they would probably have his saddle in a place of honor. And his horse buddies would be there in their western regalia.

So that morning I dug out my leather fringed jacket and cowboy boots. I felt kind of dumb drawing attention to myself wearing such an outfit but I wanted to honor Mel. And I figured his buddies would be dressed similarly so no one would notice me.

I was finishing getting dressed when I pulled on the jeans and was horrified to note that I had gained a little weight over the winter. As I buttoned the waistband I wondered if I was going to be able to breathe for the next two hours!

Then it got worse when we got to the church and I realized I was the only one dressed in cowboy attire!

But it was after the service and luncheon were over that I got to talking to Donna Anderson. She and her husband Dean assist the director at the funerals.

I chuckled and explained that in no way did I want my saddle displayed at my funeral. My saddle is an old worn out synthetic material saddle that has had the leg straps replaced - they don't match each other - and the stain has worn off in spots and I've covered it with permanent black marker - which hasn't been very permanent!

But my lightweight saddle has come through a lot with me. Back in the years when I had a chronic health condition, I was too weak to lift a leather saddle. This old artificial one worked just fine.

Then I got to thinking... what's wrong with having my old saddle at my funeral? I guess a funeral is no place to put on "airs," as they used to say!

But as I was pondering this topic... I think it would be better to replace the saddle with my little old MacBook. It's gone a lot of places with me. It's heard a lot of frustration from me. And I've learned a lot using it.

Actually... as I'm thinking about this... I think it would be even more appropriate to just have an old manure shovel there. I've spent a lot of time using that to clean corrals and sheds.

So my question to you is: what would you display? We're having fun fooling around with these ideas anyway, right?

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