Post # 407
As I enter my eight decade, I watch my children and grandchildren and think about the many phases of life. Walk with me through this. Initially ( I believe) life would begin at the union of egg and sperm, at the point when the first thump of a heart hits a beat. We then move on to other phases, our first breath of air at birth , moving into “real food”, communication, walking, etc. In this country, the right to earn a driver’s license presents a glimpse one’s phase of independence or “freedom”. Employment, marriage, home ownership and parenting open up other challenging phases of life. These are all usually deemed to be positive phases, those things that add to us, defining our character or who we are.
There are also what I view as negative phases, those that seemingly take away from us. The relinquishing our maintaining our own residence or having our driving privileges taken away by our children. There is another phase that I’ve not previously considered (as seriously as I probably should have). In fact, I’ve done my best to ignore it.
My mother received a letter the other day. Curious. It was addressed to my deceased father. The curious nature about it, was, that it came from the cemetery in which he resides! My father had passed in 1999. Turns out, it was an offer for a free burial plot to he or my mother or any other family member. Well my father is residing in his, and mom has hers so, as an only child, that pretty much makes me any other family member.
So, enter the next phase of life. That’s the phase of planning on not being here! It’s the pre-planning of your exit celebration, so your spouse and/or children don’t have to sort through that process. So, sigh, we made the call and set the appointed time. Oh, well, we get one “free” plot, we’ll just write a check for one more, how long can that take?
We were ushered into the conference room, to a large table, holding a foot high stack of note books and offered “free” coffee. (this should have been the first indication of an extended visit) What a shock, you would have thought I was picking out a new car for all the mumbo jumbo we had to listen to. Free plot??? Yeah, right. The plot is 3X6X5 foot deep, but then there are vaults, excavators (and I think OSHA approved excavator superiors), vault setting, vault opening and vault closing, and this and that and few more things and taxes. By the time it was done we were at the south end of $9000 for our two plots and we hadn’t even gotten to caskets, embalming and sundry items!!!
However, it would be cheaper to go the crypt direction, since there’s none of this vault business. (OK, OK so they call it a “mausoleum”) And since I’m considered a Veteran both I and my wife get a discount! Wow!!! Sounding better all the time. Not only that, since we will be selecting a mausoleum that’s yet to be built (breaking ground next spring) there’s an additional discount. Hey!!! Let’s check out the crypt costs. There are no excavator charges, no vault fees, etc, etc, etc. When we get all done, with the Veteran’s discount, we’re at the south end of $9000 and cheaper than the in-ground version by $80. Wait, what about the Veterans husband/wife discount?? “Yes that applies if you purchase TWO separate crypts, which means the purchase price doubles. But, since you’ve chosen the single end to end crypt, that rates as only ONE unit so there’s only ONE Veteran discount. (The two coffins are slid into a long shaft, head to head, sometimes referred to as end to end.)
Then he crosses the line…….He’s says; “Well that’s a pretty reasonable price for me offering you Eternity”. His bad! Barely before he put the period on his statement, I looked at him and said; YOU CAN’T OFFER ME ETERNITY, ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN DO THAT” “What you’re offering me is a hole in the wall.
Just like buying a new car, an hour and half later we were done. Dubious owners of a crypt, paying on time with no interest under the Veteran’s plan. Well, at least we don’t have to put our kids through these arrangements.
On the way home I turned to my wife and said, “Ah, don’t take this wrong, but I hope you go first! Since I’d be the last one in, when Jesus calls me, I’d be closest to the door and the first one out!!!!”