Dictionary.com defines mysterious as that which is not easily comprehended or explained…being unknown or puzzling.
With that mindset, I’ll tell you a true tale of a mysterious message from beyond the grave.
My dad passed away on April 6, 2013. For as long as I can remember, he’d wanted the song Somewhere over the Rainbow sung by Judy Garland played at his funeral. He was cremated, per his wishes, however, my mom didn’t want to have a funeral, which was all right with the family as we’re a private bunch, and there aren’t very many of us. We held a backyard memorial picnic with bonfire, hotdogs, and marshmallows. It was perfect. My dad loved weenie roasts.
But, we didn’t play the song.
On April 5, 2014, a day shy of the first anniversary of my dad’s passing, I was listening to Sirius XM radio, Symphony Hall, Channel 76. Of all the songs to play on that particular channel on that particular day was a classical rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow, which is a not a song typically regarded as falling into the ‘classical’ music genre.
Was this a message from beyond the grave? Do I believe it was my dad reminding me that we still had a promise to fulfill?
The next day, my family got together for another picnic honoring the one-year anniversary of his passing, and despite nudging my mom about his musical message the day before, she wasn’t emotionally ready to hear the song. Out of respect for her, once again, the song wasn’t played.
I must mention that I was still the keeper of my dad’s ashes at this point. My mom would not/could not take them home with her nor could she entertain the thought of purchasing a ‘forever’ urn.
But, by the end of 2014, Mom was beginning to heal, and she could finally talk about what to do with my dad’s ashes. She asked me to purchase a wooden urn, because my dad could build anything out of wood from barns to furniture to toys. I ordered a hand-made cherry wood urn.
On what would have been my dad’s 84th birthday on February 20, 2015, my daughter, my mom, and I had another celebration in honor of his memory, and we transferred his ashes to the lovely new urn. We also put pieces of his favorite candy bars along with a family picture inside the urn. My daughter drank a Pepsi (his favorite). My mom had a cup of coffee (he liked to drink coffee at the restaurant nearly every morning). I tossed back a couple of shots of his favorite whiskey, Southern Comfort.
Softly, in the background, Judy Garland sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. For those few minutes while the song played, there was a feeling of peace and contentment. My mom took my dad’s ashes with her.
As my musical interests are eclectic, and I haven’t once heard Somewhere Over the Rainbow since my dad’s birthday in 2015, perhaps that is the bigger mystery.
This is me and my dad in December 1962. My black and white spotted coat was my new winter coat that I got at Halloween as my 101 Dalmatians costume. I had a plastic ‘Pongo’ mask to complete the look.
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time