No wonder I was courted so diligently by the Probus Club.
The local version of this world-wide organization for retired PROfessional BUSiness people had been without a secretary for some time.
I learned that Probus Clubs provide a great network of expertise. They organize activities to suit a variety of tastes, find fascinating guest speakers who keep us current and participate in NO fund raising activities or community affiliations.
“I’ll do the minutes until you find a Secretary,” I said, knowing it was the door to a long term attachment. My heart had been touched. Minute taking is no mystery after years of administering Boards. Besides, my other community commitments are not continuously demanding. They won’t all call me at once. The emergency response people will have to keep earthquakes and forest fires to a reasonable schedule. (Tsk!)
You guessed the end of the story. Yes, I’m now on the Executive. So this month, I took notes as the speaker, a scientist, explained how we could live into our 120th year and beyond. He reminded us that we are made of the same material as the stars. Therefore, he claims we have the power to manage our health and live many more years. We are a bundle of CHON – carbon 18.5%, hydrogen 10%, oxygen 65% and nitrogen 3%. (The remaining 3.5% are a smattering of other goodies.) He then went on to explain the steps we must take to give our bodies the care needed for this longer life span.
I could hear echoes of my deceased mother’s lament, “What on earth would possess me to want to live longer as an old person?” I am coming to understand her rationale.
What does old age have to do with diamonds?
The day after the Probus presentation, my walking buddy arrived for our daily stomp. After she pulled in, she sat in her car for a few minutes, listening to the radio with a strange expression on her face. It wasn’t until the end of our walk that I learned what had held her attention.
Marion and I met a neighbour who we both knew. In the throes of the conversation, Marion said, “Apparently we can now have our loved one’s ashes made into a diamond. Imagine! For $4,800, we can be wearing our loved ones. After all, we are partially made of carbon!”
“Yike, would I want that?” I tried to imagine someone wearing me on their finger.
“You can choose the colour you want for the diamond, too! I think blue was $4,800.”
We had fun with the concept for a while, but I detected a light in Marion’s eyes when she patted her chest. She appeared to be considering how she could wear a diamond, made from her daughter’s ashes, around her neck.
We confirmed plans for the next day and said our goodbyes. Throughout the rest of the day, I thought about wearing my mother. I’d be petrified of losing her. What about my very masculine father? Would he mind being a stud earring? He’d prefer being part of a belt buckle, I suspect. Or, he may accept being embedded in the band of his dress hat. However that could be lost easily.
The next day, as I waited for one of my favourite radio programs to come on, I found myself listening to the very same interview Marion had heard on her car radio. The owner of the diamond-producing business confessed he had his grandfather in his pocket.
“Can I see him…or the diamond?” the interviewer asked.
“Sure, here,” he said. There was a silent pause. Then when he next spoke, his voice was choked with emotion as he explained that his grandfather was an extraordinary man who he loved deeply.
That simple show of emotion produced a change of heart. I began to realize that the idea may hold value. Marion could wear her daughter close to her heart. Cemeteries would stop being overcrowded. I would have a third alternative…I cannot bear the thought of being buried and cremation is not much more attractive.
Now I could consider becoming a diamond.
What if I changed my Will so I could become this gem? The colour would be based on who I wanted to keep me. If I dangled from a dainty nose ring destined for that man who lied to me, red would be an appropriate colour. If I wanted to be part of a family crest, I’d choose green. I would stipulate that the only bodily locations for the diamond would be the nose or the ear. Surely I don’t need to elaborate.
I could start a tradition by passing myself from my oldest great-grand-niece to her oldest grandchild and on that basis thereafter. What if they would want to add themselves to make a bigger diamond? Or a more elaborate cluster.
I’d ask to be worn forever and not be stuck in a safe deposit box.
What about pets? Here’s an answer to what I can do with the ashes of my cat, MacArthur. For 11 years, he’s been on the kitchen window sill. We were gypsies while together so I’ve not known where to spread his ashes. He’d make a fabulous babble for my computer. He would be close and he’d be my 9 – in honour of his 9 lives and superior to the IPhone’s new 5. He always knew what I was going to do before I even decided.
So, beloved readers… If you wanted to become a diamond, what setting would you choose? What colour? Who would you want to wear you? What boundaries would you want?