Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Busy, busy day

Slept again. The first five minutes I was awake sucked worse than usual. Sad. No tears, but "don't wanna get up". I let it eat at me for those five minutes and got out of bed. First call I made was to see if I'd be able to give you a good post today. I will be able to :).

But first... I spent all day on the phone. I am trying to get as much of "her affairs in order" as quickly as possible. That meant numerous calls and emails with insurance companies. It also meant going for printer ink because of course the only time I need my printer the ink is out.

I took Billy Jo's truck, mainly because I don't think it had been started in over a month. No sadness at all.  I was happy that I didn't spend the entire trip to Staples trying to drive through tears.

In fact, the only time I had any tears today was when I saw her work headset hanging on the wall inside the door this afternoon. 90 seconds of tears, move on. I hope most of the waves of emotions come in this way - I can handle that. Someone told me that the road will be hard in coming days/weeks/months. I agreed, but said "at least it's paved now".

My biggest worry is how I deal with Wednesday and Thursday. Still, I tell myself there's no way it will be as hard as the last three weeks have been and I have survived that, so this too shall be survivable.


OK, now for the good news. I said for a few days that I'd tell you about what our plans were for Billy Jo's remains. Here we go:

At least six years ago (maybe more) I saw a clip on Discovery Channel about a company called Eternal Reefs, Inc. They take your cremated remains, mix them with heavy duty cement into a 1500 pound "egg with holes", and lower you to the ocean floor, where you will over time be covered in coral and be a home for various marine life. I told Billy Jo about it and she said "when I go - that's what you do with me."

I never forgot it. I brought it up again during the past few months and we began looking into it. They have five locations per year along the eastern seaboard and gulf coast. She said she only wanted to be anywhere from Ft. Lauderdale south through the keys. If I needed to hold onto her remains until that location was available, so be it.

Well, I checked. On February 8th in North Miami Beach they do the casting and a memorial service on February 10th, what would have been her 38th birthday. The stars aligned for that one! On February 11th she will be lowered a mile offshore from this location and be born again as a life sustaining, life creating, reef. 

As the crow flies, this will be less than ten or so miles from where she was born almost 38 years ago. She loved the ocean, she loved Florida, she loved fishing, she is quite literally going home.

Here's the ten minute video they gave me on DVD. It's the exact thing I watched all those years ago that explains the process.

So... the first call I made this morning was to that company. All spaces had not been filled yet!!! I paid them immediately and now this awful story will have an almost fairy tale ending. In addition to that, she gets a new beginning, where she wants, and surrounding her birthday. Absolutely perfect.

I may even get certified for SCUBA diving to pass the time at some point, and go visit her, as I will get exact GPS coordinates. 


What else have I done the past few days? Well, I decided that our home office will be my "remembrance room", especially the bookcase. I'm removing all the books and that's the one area I will have dedicated to her. There's a futon in there, so I can rest, talk to her, anything. It started with an old fish tank. I added the sand Aunt Julie sent her, some shells, some other knick-knacks, and our hand mould. After the services I plan on having my wedding ring cut open, joined with hers, and closed back up. They will be added upon completion. 

This project has calmed me greatly. I love the way it's turned out, and I find a thing or two laying around and instead of crying I think "perfect for the tank!" and run upstairs.

I was going to bring it to the wake, but I don't want to mess it up. Here's a pic that really doesn't do it justice.

The memorial "tank" I have created to remember Billy Jo.

I'm donating all the books, so the entire bookcase will be where I keep my memories of her. This is without a doubt the centerpiece of that bookcase.

OK, enough for one post - I'm gonna give going to bed before 10:00 a shot tonight.