Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Folks Rock!


Thanks so much for the supportive comments on my last post. I'm very rich in my friends, and don't think I don't know it!

Updates:

I was still kinda weepy when I got to my therapist's office. He listened, empathized, and -- after I gave him the briefest summary of Sunday's homily -- smiled and said, "The lesson here is that you have to have faith that someone out there will accept you even if other people judge you."

Good therapist.

After leaving his office, I drove out to Dale's gallery to pick up the cremains. Dale wasn't there, but I found a pretty little $10 pot and bought it (I'd have bought something bigger, but that was all the cash I had on me and I didn't have a check). I also left a note thanking him for his time in talking to me. So I hope he'll take all of that the right way. I don't bear the guy any ill will: he has to follow his instincts, and he sounded very upset this morning. Of course, so was I, but that's my issue, not his.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the cremains I retrieved from him. Nothing right away, probably. I need to go into turtle mode and withdraw into my shell for a while before I stick my neck out again. (Now you know why I like turtles so much!) At this point, I'm very wary about approaching anyone else in the Reno area. I'm just not up to cold calling right now.

On the other hand, if any of you know a potter, in Reno or elsewhere, who might be open to such a project -- and who won't charge an arm and a leg for including some cremains in clay to make a small piece -- please let me know. The problem with most of the outfits that advertise this service is that their prices are prohibitive, like everything else in the funeral industry. One of the things I really liked about Dale is that he wasn't going to increase his price based on including some unusual material in the clay. I'd have paid it if he did, but I was pleased and grateful when he said he doesn't do that.

In other Dad-related news, I went to the VA to try to get proof of his military service. The lady at the hospital information desk, when I explained why I was there (I wasn't sure where to go), said, "I'm so sorry about your Dad," a piece of kindness I sorely needed today. I love the VA!

However, they didn't have any formal proof of service. (You'd think the fact that he was a VA patient would be proof enough of military service, wouldn't you?) The clerk was energetic and helpful and gave me what little she had -- a piece of paper saying that Dad had served in WWII, without any specifics -- but said I should try to track down Dad's records at the other VAs where he's been treated. I can't even count them, and wouldn't know where to start. That's a piece of family archeaology I'm not at all sure I'm up to. Otherwise, my only option is the online request form I already filled out, which takes 4-6 weeks.

The Coast Guard chaplain indicated that he'd be pretty liberal about what constitutes proof of service, so I hope we'll still be able to get Dad scattered on his birthday. I also hope the chaplain doesn't have any ominous dreams between now and July 14.

Anyway, after all of that, I swam for fifty minutes, which left me feeling a little better. Now I have to try to get a bit of the book done before we settle down to watching Weeds, our current TV obsession.

4 comments:

  1. You might want to find a potter willing to use the cremains to make an ash glaze. Alternatively, perhaps a potter who does wood firing would let them be thrown into the kiln onto the pots during a firing. Just mixing it into clay won't do your cremains or the pot any good. At my old studio, a husband whose wife used to love to make pottery has asked that those of us who knew hew make a piece of pottery and use a glaze that has been made with her ashes. It's a pretty honorable request, and the studio is working on it.

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  2. Your dad's discharge should be recorded in the county of his legal residence when he was discharged. We got my dad's that way.

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  3. Are you completely tied to the pottery idea? I just ask because I know a guy who does wonderful paintings. I'm guessing cremains could be integrated into that medium somehow. I'd be more than happy to approach him with the idea if that was a route you'd be interested in - that way you wouldn't have to do the cold calling. If you're interested, let me know

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  4. If you are still having problems getting your Dad's proof of service, contact a local recruiting office. They should be able to help.

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