This post may be a bit on the depressing side, but there is a lesson we've learned the hard way. Feel free to skip to the last three paragraphs.
Long time readers may recall we lost the SCDad's wife a couple years ago. See here and here.
Though the end was on the horizon for quite some time, no funeral plans had been made. I can understand that, no one wants to go down that path. Unfortunately Dad had to work through the funeral details after the fact and in less-than-optimal circumstances.
Anyway, the mortuary has a program where they contact survivors of loved ones a couple years down the road to set up their own final arrangements so the descendants don't have to and there is nothing to fight over. This is smart from a business standpoint, as they get the $$ for dad's funeral arrangements today in return for a burger tomorrow, but also benefits us because he made the choices us offspring units would otherwise have to make.
Hey great, glad he made the choices we'd have to make when he expires. I suppose there is a risk that the mortuary could go Tango Uniform but they have been around as long as I can remember. I wish I had as much faith in the federal treasury.
Visiting over the weekend, SCDad mentioned there was one choice he opted not to make - Who would get the Flag draping his coffin. You see dad went into the USArmy and did > 20 yrs in the reserves achieving the rank of Lt. Col. I hope my siblings and I can agree on an appropriate sharing arrangement when the time comes.
Now here comes the hard lesson... I mentioned the above "Y'all have to decide how to share the flag" to the family as we drove home from the airport. The SandCastle Son piped up and asked.... " So where is great-grandpa's flag?" (My SCGrandpa was in the Signal Corps in WWI).
OH CRAP! I know my grandmother had it... she used to fly it from her flagpole when family was in town. What happened to it when she moved on? It probably was just a folded up flag, not in a presentation box. So whoever came across it probably didn't recognize it for what it was. It's almost surely gone forever. Sorry grandpa... [weep].
There is the lesson... If something is intended as a family heirloom, make sure everyone knows that it is, and mark it as an heirloom with the meaning of the item.
Update: The SCQueen thinks Dad has it and she knows where it is. Best news in a long time!