Friday, August 6, 2010

Ruth's Interment

Terry and I flew to New Jersey to go to my step-mom Ruth's interment. My father and mother are both buried here as well. The entry gates of the George Washington Memorial Cemetery are imposingly large. We drove up to the main office since I figured we would need a map to find Ruth's plot. On the steps of the office we ran into Walter, Juanita, Cindy, Gail and Ben. Like us they were all about an hour early. Juanita already had a cemetery map so we decided to follow them. We all relaxed in the shade and waited for more people to show up. Walter pointed out a huge regal falcon that was perched on a dead tree branch. I shaded my eyes and scrutinized the falcon as he looked at me. When enough relatives and friends were on hand, Walter got into his PT Cruiser and started driving to the burial site.
We followed in our rental car. Walter drove around for sometime and when we found ourselves back where we started, we realized he might be lost. After another lap he stopped and Juanita got out. She walked up to a small pile of dirt and shouted back, "This is it." I walked out and took a picture of the headstone. Rather than standing upright, all the headstones in this cemetery lie flat which allows for easy mowing and gives the cemetery a very open, park like feel.
Everyone at this memorial service was dressed in Hawaiian shirts and leis , since Ruth loved to visit the Hawaiian Islands. The memorial was sweet and to the point. The priest began by reciting the lords prayer, followed with everyone singing "Amazing Grace."
Suddenly a large flock of geese flew over the proceedings no more than ten feet above our heads.. It reminded me of jet fly bys at a stadium. A small boom box played Hawaiian tunes. Ruth's ashes were held in a small pink plastic handkerchief box sized container. The hole dug for the container was only about a foot deep. Walter said it cost $600 to dig that hole. When the service was over, the Thorspecken children walked in search of their parent's grave. It was about 100 yards away in the shade of an old Oak tree.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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