More Than Just a Phone Call

I don’t know what I was thinking.

Maybe I was just in all out productive mode after the first day back at school after break. Last week I’d told my sisters I’d make the call and had even written it at the top of my vacation “To Do” list. Still, I’d totally forgotten, or, at any rate, I hadn’t done it when I actually had the time to do so.

So, when I got home today before 5 pm (yay!), I zipped in the door, dropped my bags and announced to my husband, “Sorry! I’ve got to make a phone call. I need to call Standing Rock and figure things out.”

Then I grabbed my computer and phone and rushed off to the living room. I was actually going to get something done…on a school night!

I guess I was just thinking of it as something to cross off a list. Not thinking about what I was actually doing. Not really thinking at all, just in go-mode.

I googled the number and clicked the green phone icon. A pleasant voice answered after a few rings. “Hello, Standing Rock Cemetery.”

Oh.

I swallowed hard and took a deep breath.

“Um, I’m calling for some information.” I cleared my throat. “I need to know about arranging an interment.”

I spent the next ten minutes or so gathering information about timing, dates, availability. I learned about burial transit permits and learned the word “cremains.”

Next, I had to call the engraver. I took another deep breath, wiped away a few tears, and called. I explained that I was calling to check up on the status of an engraving for a cremation niche and to update it. The man at the engraver’s was clearly taken aback. “I’m just so surprised,” he said. “She was just here with her friend this fall. I remember her vividly as we had quite a lively conversation.”

You see, my father died on Thanksgiving Day in 2022. My stepmother arranged the niche for both of them this past September. She wasn’t ready to part with my dad’s ashes yet, but was adamant that she wanted to have everything organized and dealt with before she died. She was clear that she didn’t want us to have to deal with it all. And then suddenly, quite unexpectedly, in mid-October, she died.

So, I don’t know why I thought I would just be crossing something off a list tonight. Why it would be no big deal to make these phone calls.

After I got the information, I typed up an e-mail to share it with my sisters. And then I gave in and just cried.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

It’s done now, but I’m pretty sure I’m not even going to cross it off the list.

13 thoughts on “More Than Just a Phone Call

  1. margaretsmn says:

    And then you opened your computer and wrote about it. Thanks for trusting us with this vulnerability. I’m crying too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. judyman says:

    Thanks for telling this story, and it’s pretty telling that you won’t cross it off your list. I’m glad. Sending you love today and always. I still haven’t made myself order my brother’s headstone. If I don’t do it, maybe he isn’t really gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. NYOCW says:

    Teachers are so pro at “go mode.” I laughed when you said you were getting something done on a school night. And then I was surprised and heavy hearted as more was revealed. Some calls are more than just calls. I’m sorry for your losses. I would call your day an inspiring victory. Walking through hard stuff and then writing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. haitiruth says:

    Oh Molly. I’m so sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Mitchell says:

    Oh, Molly. This is so beautiful and heartwrenching.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda Potts says:

    Heavy, beautiful, aching. Even the pacing of the writing reflects your experience. How vulnerable and open this is. Thank you, and I’m so sorry for your losses.

    Liked by 1 person

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