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My Sister: Gone But Never Forgotten or "Funny Fails"

A Story From One of My Funny Fails




I have been kicking around writing a story about my sister, who she was, what she meant to me, and what life is like without her in it. Unfortunately, there is no way I could capture the essence of her spirit in an article of this type. For this reason, I wanted to write about one of my funny fails that summed up both her and I’s relationship, that not only reminded me of her but brought a smile to my face (eventually).


This past spring break found me and my family; I have a son and daughter, ages 11 and 9, respectively, on a Caribbean cruise with a few Mexican destinations on the list. Before our trip, I was reminded how much of a cruise enthusiast my sister was. It was impressed upon me that we should take some of her ashes and release them overboard during the days at sea. Having been on a previous cruise with her, I quickly agreed. I wasn’t overly joyed in having to carry her ashes with me during the travel. (Luckily, no one questioned the baggie of ashes within my luggage, and we made it down to Florida and onto the ship without any incident.


The cruise was an excellent experience for all involved, with the weather being spectacular throughout. After spending a few days mapping out our strategy for releasing the ashes, we settled on doing it from the stern of the boat at night. I didn’t want to bring attention to the event and tried to make it as quick as possible. My sister had other ideas………. After we said a few words, I opened the bag and released some of her ashes. At that exact moment, an updraft hit the bag, and a good deal of her cloudlike remains hit me in the face ending the possibility of completely emptying the remaining contents.


To best describe the experience, I became one with my sibling and quickly thought, “Bravo, little sister, you had the last laugh.” At the same time, I was struggling to open my right eye because some foreign object had entered it. I can only attribute this to a piece of small bone remnant I believe was lodged there. I was both a little mortified and repulsed at the same time. I say, repulsed because I could taste the ashes. I believe the amusement and hilarity of the situation didn’t hit me until 10 minutes later.


So, what did I learn about this particular experience? First, to send ashes off a cruise ship, go to the lowest part of the boat closest to the water. We were most successful going to the lifeboat level and releasing the ashes between boats. It was an easy pour, and the lifeboats provided excellent wind blockage. Second, experiences like this are hilarious and therapeutic in helping to move on. I hope my sister looks down upon me and laughs as loud as possible in situations like this.


As a separate note, recently, a Tropical Storm developed in the Caribbean, and they coincidentally named it Cindy. I want to think my sister continues to live on.





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