Harlan and Alma had had many a heated discussion over his final arrangements. Harlan being adamant about cremation and refused to change his mind.

Alma couldn’t budge her husband on the matter, even trying to change his mind hours before his death. Nor on the memorial service at the church or any of the other aspects of a funeral service.

Decisions Harlan made after the first diagnosis stood. Choices that Alma was sure would change at each remission and reoccurrence. Even this last time, this very evening, she had broached the subject. Was it only a few days ago she opened her mouth to bring it up. Harlan and raised on fine from the bed and said “Have I once wavered?”

Alma quickly shut her mouth and never asked again.

Thankful TJ hadn’t brought up the pre-arrangements in the room. Alma knew her reprieve from telling the body would be short lived. When she and Harlan had sat with TJ to make them seven years ago, TJ had suggested then that Alma wait to inform the boys at the office. They could come to ‘make arrangements’. Seeing a loved ones signature and notes made about what they wanted, didn’t make the facts any easier, but the direct would take any repercussions on the remaining family negative. It was out of everyone’s hands but the deceased. Some families, he had explained to Harlan went against the wishes of the deceased, but the boys would go along with Harlan’s wishes, he felt sure, even if they disagreed. That had made Harlan even more staunch in his plans.

TJ had warned her, you don’t have to tell everything you know. ‘Let me be the one to tell them. It will be easier for you.’ She sure hoped what he said back then, she had held onto those words all this time.


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