This might be the strangest entry I’ll ever post here. Perhaps too much information….but there you go. I made a brief post almost three years ago that my father died very unexpectedly. He chose to be cremated, and he asked that his remains be released at sea. When he talked to me about this, long before it was on anyone’s mind that it could possibly become a reality, he suggested Long Island Sound. He sailed there most of his short time as a sailor. But during that short time when sailing was so important to him I knew that he longed for bigger and warmer waters.
At one point he and my mother bought property on the West coast of Florida, hoping to settle there and keep their boat there. That never came to pass. And at the time he passed away, he had no idea that Bob and I also had big plans to sail farther than our standard stomping grounds, from the Chesapeake to Maine. My father was never interested in Maine. He was a southern boy all the way through, and he never got used to living in the northeast.
So, over the past 2 1/2 years that he has resided on a shelf in my house….(I know, please don’t judge me!)…I have had an underlying knowledge that he would love to be set free in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. His remains could travel the world in a way he’d always dreamed of doing in life.
My father and I always had issues, and I’m disappointed that we never could find a common ground while he lived. At least in this I think I can make him happy. My biggest regret is that my sister and my kids, who all loved him, cannot be with us to experience the moment. I have told them all my best guess as to when I’ll be doing this…. it’s hard to be exact, even in the 21st century, when the plans involve sailing! At the specified time this afternoon they will send positive energy out for their dad and granddad and say prayers. It’s long overdue, and he deserves this.
“Parable of Immortality”
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
” Here she comes! “
— Henry Van Dyke