Sometimes the most trying times in life bring together people who never before saw eye to eye. There are two ways in this next story where that’s true. Two sisters at the memorial service told a story about their Mom who recently died and by association their father. It seems that these sisters for most of their adult lives had been out of touch. That had visibly changed displayed by the way they alternated turns telling stories about their parents, frequently finishing each other’s sentences and transitioning seamlessly.
They had both grown up on the Jersey Shore. Not the Jersey Shore of “Pauly D” and “Snookie” but rather the Jersey Shore of family vacations and seaside fun. The sisters had managed to grow up minutes from the shore yet never learned to swim, following in their mother’s footsteps. Dad, on the other hand, loved the sea so much that when he died a few years back he requested that his ashes be scattered at the shore.
The daughters also told stories of their mother’s artistic skills and her early years as an illustrator for Walt Disney in the days of Pinocchio and Cinderella. In fact they have stacks of storyboards with images of Disney characters, a rare and wonderful family heirloom, don’t you think? After their mother died, the two sisters were torn as to what to do with her ashes. Certainly she would like to rest eternally with her husband but like the girls she never learned to swim. After thinking it through, they decided that instead of scattering her ashes IN the sea, they would put her ashes on the beach at low tide and let the sea come and take her away to join her soul mate. I wonder if they might have sent her along with a Pinocchio doll as well? I guess that is a story that will remain with the family, along with those priceless storyboards.
What is evident is that two sisters are very much in touch with each other again. What is wonderful is that a mother and father who had opposing views of the sea found an eternal home there together. From my world, I’ll never again see Pinocchio or Cinderella without remembering this person who I never even met. There is something extraordinary about every story whether it’s a Disney Classic or a Jersey Shore family’s memories.