Neil O. Nelson

Much to my family’s dismay, I let the cat out of the bag when I mentioned how my mother and I traveled together, even lived together, for a couple of years after her death.

Trust me, there was nothing macabre, sinister or dark about our relationship.

I simply had custody of mother’s ashes after the University of Minnesota medical school completed its study on her remains and conducted her cremation accordingly. It was a noble gesture on our parents’ part: to have medical science use their bodies for its research into the human mind and body.

In the end, my sisters and I were instructed to scatter their ashes.

Floris, my mother, wanted her ashes scattered on Hart Lake in Northern Minnesota. We’re still looking for our father; our search brought us to the Bagley, Minn., cemetery, and the mausoleum there, near the Nelson family plot, in fact; sadly, the search ended there. The mausoleum’s doors were locked.

“What if he isn’t in there?” my sisters asked.

I said we should presume he is. We can ask around, I suggested.

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