Lori and I woke up early to load up the car and head out to the ranch. We were a little tired from the week so we didn’t actually get on the road until about 10 minutes after 7. We decided to go up via Steamboat for a change as the drive is much prettier. It’s about 15 minutes longer but that was ok with us. After about an hour on the road Robi called as she remembered from the blog that we were going up today. She thanked me for taking Mom and Dad up and felt bad that she couldn’t be there with us. I told her not to feel bad and that we’d send her pictures. We talked for a while about what we were going to do and I told her what our plans were.
About 90 minutes later we pulled into Walden and we stopped at the lumber yard to buy a shovel as we had decided to bury Mom and Dad’s ashes together. We did save a few to spread around but I wanted them to have a final resting place where they’d always be together. Driving up the road I told Lori we were going down by the old homestead cabin and she said she thought we were going up into the rocks. We debated this and in the end opted for the old cabin as that’s where Dad said he wanted to be when I was a boy.
Driving down County Road 2, I sure was glad Lori was with me. I know how hard a 6 hour plus car ride is on her back and I had told her she didn’t have to go but no way was she letting me go alone and without her, it would have been just me as no one else could go. The boys had a lot of homework plus it was really early and Jag had a soccer game at 4 and Tom and Ali couldn’t make it. We pulled in up the dirt road and the big tree I mentioned a day ago from when we were very young was lying on the ground half burned from the fire a couple years ago. I had forgot about this but decided to find a stout aspen tree that had a good view looking out on the ranch. Once I found what I decided would be “their” tree, I carved their initials in it to mark it forever. If you know anything about aspen trees, once you carve something in one, the carving turns black and ends up having the carving raised and stays a part of the tree forever.
After this I dug a hole in front of the tree and then put most of Dads ashes in the hole and then put most of Moms on top. I actually stirred them up a bit so they’d be together, ha. After covering the hole, we found a few small wildflowers and carefully dug them up at the roots to transplant them where hopefully they’ll grow forever. I took some water and we watered them after planting. Meanwhile Lori had picked some other flowers to lay on top as well. I then took the remainder of their ashes and spread them around in a big circle making sure to again put them together. We brought along a picture of Mom and one of Dad’s favorite cowboy hats to also mark the spot. After the work was done, we stopped to just think about the whole thing. Our conversation went from as deep as talking about just what is life and how in the end you end up being a bag of bones and ashes to wondering what Mom and Dad were thinking about having just seen what we had just done. In the end we decided they’d be happy that we brought them up here and laid them to rest together in such a peaceful place that meant so much to both of them but especially to Dad. I promised Dad when I was 10 years old I’d do this so no way I was not following through. Plus with everything they did for all of us, this was the least I could do and Lori felt the same way. Hell I would have drove 1000 miles if that’s what it would have taken to make sure they were together resting peacefully for eternity.
We packed up the shovel and pick and headed home. We did take a lot of pictures and below are a few. I feel good about the day but again, sure was glad Lori was with me as it wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. It’s hard to put into words just what your parents mean to you and sadly I don’t think anyone realizes that to the full extent until you no longer have them. I’d give anything to just talk to them for even a couple minutes to say so many things I should have said when they were still here. I’d thank them and tell them how grateful I was for all they did for me, let them know how much I loved them and make sure that they’d know I’d be alright and never ever forget them and every day for the rest of my life try to make them proud. There’s more but for now, I’ll leave it at that. So Mom and Dad, rest in peace and I know exactly where you are and will see you again soon.