Today we put my father's ashes in the niche at Barancas National Cemetery (A8C14 is the exact spot). The Marines were there for the military honors--the 21 gun salute and Taps. My mom has the flag. Dad's good friend, Richard, has already brought her a flag case. We have the casings from the salute. We'll give those to family and friends. Will already has one.
I thought today would make it real for me. It didn't. I even helped my sister put his ashes in the niche. I still think my father is going to walk in the door asking for help unloading the cooler of shrimp.
My dad was great at boiling shrimp. Years ago he had some shrimp at Big Chief's graduation from pharmacy school that he really liked. These boiled shrimp were spicy even without sauce. From that day forward my father kept looking for the perfect recipe to have spicy boiled shrimp. He tried every recipe he could find until he found the right combination of spice, lemon, and beer. Then he found the proper pot and outdoor burner fueled by propane.
We are going to have boiled shrimp tonight. DA is going to cook them. My father taught DA how to cook the shrimp. Dad always said that DA's weren't as good as his, but he was just kidding. This will be our tribute to Dad, Pop Pop, Uncle Tom.