The Keeper Of Ashes …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Mama’s Rose Chest … Her charred ashes are inside the chest …
That fateful morning, around 7:30-8:00 am … I opened the back door to go out to my truck. I was going to exercise. I always went early, to have it behind me.
Something made me look back through the house. At first, my eyes couldn’t comprehend the red glow coming from the window where the other porch was. My heart caught in my throat … Skip! Our house is on fire!
Instantly, we went into action. I began saving our three dogs while Skip ran to see what was happening.
We lost everything in that house fire. It was in the dead of winter. I’ll never forget rummaging through the debris, trying to just find … something of ours, that didn’t burn. I’ll never forget the people stopping there who … began to pick up things, leave with them. I never knew people stole from someone when their whole life lay in a pile of rubble.
I came across a gray container … oh my God, it was my mother’s ashes. They’d been burned once again … cremated; now, the container was partially melted where the fire burned it. I couldn’t believe it. It hurt my Heart, deeply.
I picked the container up with my freezing hands. I was so cold. I got black soot on my bare hands. I put the container with my mother’s ashes in a little pile of ‘things’ I’d found in the rubble.
My heart was grieving for my mother as I searched for any little thing that survived the fire. I didn’t know anyone was there until a voice said, “take these gloves, Gloria”. It was a man Skip and I liked very much. He told me he knew my hands must be cold. My Heart was warmed, because someone cared.
The container of ashes now, sit in the Rose Chest, I have for my mother’s ashes. I have other things inside that are hers, also. I can’t tell you exactly what … because like my son’s chest, I can’t bear to open it.
It sits beside my brother’s chest. It holds my brother’s ashes. Also, in it are some things that were his. I don’t know who will care for the ashes if something should happen to us.
I did have my cousin’s ashes, until I sent them to his sister in Oregon. He is where he belongs, now. I’m so happy she has them … they are buried beside their mother, in a beautiful place.
I remember some years ago … my grandson’s mother called me … ‘the keeper of ashes’.
Photos owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee (My mother’s ashes/charred container… Mama’s Rose Chest) …
Story is true, and is owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee