Sunday, October 15, 2006

The last goodbye

We arrived in Minneapolis about 11 p.m., and after renting our car and driving to the motel, we got to bed about 2 a.m.

Friday afternoon found us at the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca State Park near Bemidji, MN, where my wife spread the ashes of her late husband, as he had requested. A heart attack had struck him down in 1999 at age 44.

It was a blustery, cold day, and the first snow of the season had fallen the day before, as you can see from this picture.

We walked the cold 600 feet from the parking lot down to the headwaters, where water from a spring cascades over a line of rocks to begin its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. We learned that it takes a drop of water 90 days to make the trip.

This was the last thing she needed to do for him. She softly whispered, "Godspeed" as the last remains of the physical shell that had housed his spirit began their 2,500 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. They will pass by Memphis, where he died, through Mississippi where he lived much of his life and finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico to join the oceans of the world.

All of our bodies must one day return to the elements from which they were created. Experiences like this remind me that not only are we living on borrowed time, but that we are only borrowing our bodies for a few years from the earth that will eventually reclaim them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You did a good and generous thing, Runaway, and wrote about it beautifully too. Thanks for helping WIP with this.