Several weeks ago, hubby’s aunt had her house broken into in the middle of the night. The guy broke into her husband’s work truck parked outside, stole all his tools, found the garage door opener and used it to get into the garage where he broke into her car, stole everything he could, then started taking stuff randomly from the garage. He stole food from the refrigerator they keep out there, some beer, and then just started pulling stuff off the shelves. Just trashed the place. They reported it, figured that was that, and went on with life.
Yesterday, she gets a phone call:
Man: Are you related to (Hubby’s grandmother’s/Aunt’s mom’s name)?
Aunt: Yes, why?
Man: We have her?
Aunt: What???? (seeing as grandma died back in 2004)
Man: We have her.
Ends up the man was a Sergeant with the Metro police dept. They had busted the guy that broke into her house, went back to his house and found among the stolen items there grandma’s ashes that were in a shoe box marked with her name and year of death. Given the mess in the garage, Aunt never even realized they were gone.
Now back up several years…
Hubby’s grandfather died back in the late 80s a couple of years before we met. My father-in-law kept *those* ashes in a shoe box in his closet. The intent had always been to scatter them but evidently grandpa was a grumpy, unhappy man that didn’t like anything. Every time they suggested someplace to scatter him, Grandma would say, he didn’t like it. The mountains? Oh, he hated the bugs. The ocean? Oh, he always got sunburned. The desert? Oh, he hated the heat. So the plan became, no use going through this twice, we’ll just wait for grandma to pass and then we’ll scatter them both.
Now my father-in-law has a sick sense of humor (which in reality I can totally appreciate) and he used to bring grandpa’s ashes (also in a shoe box) out at family dinners… mainly, I think, I push his mother’s buttons. He would then tell hubby, as the oldest child, he would eventually inherit all the ashes and have to keep them in his closet. My answer to that was, the hell he will. They would be scattered if I had to roll down my window on the way home from the funeral parlor. Oh, he liked to drive, he can spend eternity blowing around the shoulder of I-15.
Evidently, when grandma died, they ran into the same dilemma of where to scatter her because she liked all those potential places less than grandpa. In the end, brother and sister blended the ashes of their parents, split them, and left it up to each to decide where. Three years later, Aunt hadn’t decided and her parent’s ashes were stolen out of her garage and were now sitting in the Metro police department.
She had to go down to pick them up, so she met the Sergeant and he escorted her back to a room. He opens the door and there are half a dozen men sitting around the table with the box sitting in the middle. And Aunt has this moment of panic that they are going to start asking why she still has these ashes? What are you doing with them? Etc. It doesn’t help when they sit her down and stare at her.
Sergeant: How valuable would you say these ashes are to you?
Aunt: (thinking they are going to chastise her for leaving her mother’s ashes in a box in her garage and not even knowing when they were stolen) Oh, very valuable.
Sergeant: Can you put a monetary value on them?
Ends up the cops have been picking this guy up for petty stuff for years and want to put him away for a while but he never steals anything of enough value to do it. So they finally see their chance with a person’s ashes.
Aunt: How valuable do you need them to be?
Sergeant: We’ll just mark them as invaluable if you don’t have a problem with that.
Aunt: (in total relief that she’s not in trouble) Yes, they are completely invaluable to me.
Aunt comes home with the ashes, calls my father-in-law and tells him the story of how she had to go bail out their dead mother and father from the police station (father-in-law is in tears from laughing so hard, btw) and finally says… we need to scatter mom and dad.