This morning my doorbell rang and I found an old woman on my porch who announced herself with the phrase “Good morning, I’m about to ask you the strangest question you’ll be asked all day.”
Just for the record, if you’re trying to spark my interest that intro is a pretty damn good way to do it.
She then proceeding to hold up a big ziploc baggie full of ashes and asked if I would mind if she laid her mother to rest in my front yard. Yes, you heard me right, she wanted to spread her dead mother’s ashes on my seldom mowed lawn.
Apparently this whole part of town used to be one farm, specifically her family’s farm. They’d lived there for generations and the morning her mother was born (in what is now my neighbor’s house) her grandfather planted the giant tree out in front of my house in honor of her arrival into this world. As her mother grew she spent huge swaths of her childhood under/in that tree as it grew right a long with her and had always said that she wanted to spend eternity in it’s shade.
The whole property had been sectioned up and sold to people building city property some time around 1930, so this lady had been going through the neighborhood for I don’t even know how long with old maps, property deeds, and county land records trying to figure out exactly which house her mom and grown up in and subsequently which tree she wanted her ashes under… and was pretty sure it was this one.
I, of course, told her to go for it.
And that’s the story of how there came to be a really old lady spending eternity right outside my kids’ bedroom window.