Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Might Have Been

Growing up, I was never steered away from a particular occupation because I am female or because I am short or because I have blue eyes. I was always told I could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. No one ever said I was incapable of doing something, so naive as I was, I attempted and succeeded in many things. Even then, there were activities I never had the opportunity to try. Have you ever thought about what you might have been or done if circumstances in your life had been different?

I was watching an old western where the Indians were chasing the pony soldiers, and I wondered why the flag carrying horsemen never got shot down. And if they did, would another rider stop to pick up the flag while being chased?

Right then, I decided if I were younger and had a horse, I’d have learned how to ride bareback and slide down one side at a full gallop, so I could scoop something off the ground. An ambitious thought. This in itself presented two problems. I’m short and I prefer riding tall horses, an equalizer of sorts. So my arm span from a tall horse wouldn’t reach the ground. That thought slid into... I’d have to learn to ride the horse’s underbelly, which would tickle, and the horse would just stop and laugh! Maybe that's why I never went that route.

Another thought was that I’d have been a gymnast. At the time, gymnastics wasn’t readily available to children, especially if the family had little money. But I think it would have been so much fun.

It would have been nice to have a long-term dance partner. Dancing is a great exercise and I can't believe how many guys don't realize how sensual it is. I never was lucky enough to find someone else who liked to dance.

Starting college, I thought I might become an architect because it was fun drawing floor plans for my "Dream House" which wasn't always just one house. My design changed depending upon the day I was drawing it or depending upon who I envisioned living in it with me. It wasn't until drafting class that I discovered I could do the mechanical parts of a design, but I'm not artistic enough to get the perspective view from my brain to my hand. It's so sad. At least I was raised with enough encouragement to give it a try.

Perhaps with more television viewing, I'll be reminded of other things that might have been.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Alone at last

Nellie Josephine Weeks is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver, Colorado beside her husband of forty-one years. While visiting one of my brothers who lives in a Denver suburb, we found these gravesites and noticed an unused plot beside Nellie. This led to our discussion of where we wanted to be buried, since we have no family plot designations.

Our dad, a World War II veteran and twenty year military man, and our mom are buried together in the Houston National Cemetery in Texas. No arrangements can be made for children there.

My brother is married. His wife and their two daughters are Catholic. My brother is not, so he can’t be laid to rest with them in a Catholic cemetery. He had mentioned trying to obtain the plot next to Nellie, our grandmother. When he checked with the cemetery, he was told they didn’t have records to determine ownership that went back that far.

Recently, while scanning photos and documents for my family DVD video, I came across Nellie’s payment booklet for three plots at Crown Hill. It shows the purchase date—May 22, 1937—and a purchase price of $337.50 for the three. Listed are monthly payments ranging from $5.00 to $20.00 reducing the balance eventually to $0. It is marked paid and there is an official Crown Hill Cemetery Association stamp to verify it. My brother will return to their office to see if we can claim ownership.

Another brother who lives in Houston has three children of his own and an extended family with his current wife, her four adult children, spouses, and expanding grandchildren count that is currently at nine. I’m sure he will be making his plans to be with them.

So, that leaves me unsure as to where I want to be and whether to chose burial or cremation. My daughter’s father is buried in Grandview, Texas where his third wife also purchased plots for herself, my daughter, my daughter’s two younger half-sisters, her younger half-brother, and the third wife’s son who was adopted by my daughter’s father. Family trees are complicated these days. Anyway, my daughter has a place to go near family and will also be near her paternal grandmother.

I have no place to go to be with a loved one and have been wondering about this dilemma since 2000. I remain unresolved on location, as well as the cremation decision, although I’m leaning toward burial.

I’m saddened by the thought that I will be...alone at my last.