Today at noon, over warmed-up enchiladas and over the sound of four kids babbling and giggling and dropping their forks, Daniel and I attempted to have a conversation. About burial plots.
"My family is buying plots on Logtown Hill," he said to me. "Should we think about joining them?"
"Oh, I don't know," I said, "I think I'd rather be cremated and scattered over the surface of Lake Michigan. I'm a Michigander, y'all!" (yes, that is a direct quote).
We took a few more bites of enchilada and poured one or two sippycup refills before Daniel picked up where we left off.
"I know why you want to do that," Daniel said, "but I think that might be weird for the kids. There is something about looking at a body and then putting it in the ground, where it will stay until the end. It makes sense. Whereas, 'Mom is floating around in Lake Michigan,' just...doesn't."
I chewed my bite, seeing his point. The grieving mind needs to have things fed to it, in a way that is easy to swallow.
"Where is the rest of your family?" I asked.
"Mam-maw and Pap-paw are up in Dripping Springs," he said, "and of course Pawpaw and Sue-Sue are in The National Cemetery in Fort Smith."
"What if we went up to Michigan? We could buy plots near my family," I suggested, with a wink, because I knew Daniel would never be buried that far from his people.
"No way," he said, "too cold." Oh for goodness sake. "Besides," he went on, "I like the idea of a nice little place on Logtown Hill, in the shade of a tree, with the warm breeze blowing and the peace and quiet and all."
I rolled my eyes. "See," I said, more emphatically than I feel, for the sake of friendly argument, "this is exactly what I am talking about. The whole idea is absurd. You won't be in the shade of a tree or feeling the warm breeze. You may as well save everybody the trouble."
He was smiling broadly, happy to be getting at me, and he leaned back and said, "Ahhh...It gives a person something to look forward to." That Daniel Rupp, he is impossible. A lot of good a Masters of Divinity did for him.