Monday, September 25, 2017

The Last Road Trip

This weekend was difficult for me.

When my brother Carl knew he was dying, he and I plotted out all his funeral arrangements. He wanted a Big Lebowski style scattering of his ashes. Folgers can and all. He made me promise to use an old school metal Folgers can. We laughed. I agreed. I eventually found the coffee can. I even made and drank the coffee.

I divided his ashes four ways. I drove one portion all the way to California. My Brother Russ will scatter those in the Pacific. My sister Amy will scatter her portion in the Atlantic. My sister Wanda will scatter her portion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Carl loved the water.

The water he loved the most in the world was in our home town of Indian Falls New York. We grew up on Indian Falls Road. Plus the actual Indian Falls flowed next to his favorite bar in the world. The Log Cabin.

Just above the Falls, there is a bridge.

I had decided that I would scatter his ashes from the center of the bridge. The closer the time came the more difficult I knew it would be for me. I was initially going to invite a pile of people, then just family, then just my wife, and then, in the end, it was just me. My wife Brenda understood. It was a beautiful day. A perfect day. I parked my car and walked onto the bridge. It was quiet and calm and I took the picture you see on the right above.

I had a private conversation with Carl.

I was glad there was no wind blowing. I slowly began to pour the contents from the can, and something magical happened. Half of the ash dove straight for the water. It was like it was eager to ride the waterfalls again. The other half drifted and was more like smoke in the sunshine. It danced on the breeze below the bridge. It swirled gently like a flock of starlings in the sunshine. It even made a rainbow in the sun as the cloud drifted toward the falls.

I leaned on the railing, for physical and emotional support. My tears followed him into the water below, into eternity.

--I love you, bro. Thanks for being part of my life. Thanks for the Road Trip...


  1. Beautifully written. It even made me cry. Love you

  2. Thoughts and prayers. And you did it right!

  3. That's BEAUTIFUL ❤⛾❤⛾❤

  4. Yep... Definitely dusty around here...

  5. Martin : I don't expect you to remember me. Went to school and was friends with Carl thru out high school. Spent those early young times trying to become musicians which I know Carl (and myself) did, and continue to do. I recall the campouts we had with Jerry Sliker and others, night adventures over to the sportsmans cabin down from your partents home on Indian Falls Rd. Trying to find and borrow a few beers ! Lost touch thru out adulthood but when I heard of Carls passing, and reading your touching words brought back memories Id long forgotten. My sincere sympathies to you and family. All the best, Ron Kleiber

  6. Read this one too:

  7. OMG, you've got me ugle crying