Monday, February 21, 2011
..............and so I am accepting John's remains will NEVER be found on Hart Island and my hope to bury his very personal belongings, items that contain his DNA and, therefore, as far as I'm concerned, are him, will not be realized. I am grateful to those persons who have given me alternative directions for me to travel, however, and still honor John's memory and his spirit. I've been in a quandry as these personal items I mention - his military cap, the Bible he carried everywhere, his college papers, handmade wooden chess set, smoking pipe and (tobacco - yes, I've kept that too for 39 years), and other items, are such I WOULD NEVER THROW AWAY! Since the Veteran's Administration will not allow me to bury these items in a little plot of land, or even in a wall crypt (as with ashes), it's been suggested to me to have all his items blessed and have my own "cremation" ceremony, if you will - I have chosen my home fireplace for this release ceremony. I realize I must let go of these items (I've no family to leave them to once I'm gone) and it is not an option to throw anything away - I may donate the chess set to a Veteran's Hospital, however - John would approve. I have received authorization for a memorial ceremony for John at a Veteran's Cemetery in Riverside, California - Riverside National Cemetery - during which there will be a Catholic ceremony performed, the playing of Taps w/2 honor guards in attendance, handing over of the American Flag, and a plaque to be installed on their Memorial/Rememberance Wall. I also plan on playing two songs, one of which was his absolute favorite at the time - "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones - curiously, after 39 years, I found that record among many of his personal items - how's that for fate! White balloons will float up through the skies, clouds, stars and, of course, through the heavens - he will know; at long last, he can rest in peace. Arrangements are in progress.