PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Sewing Box and The Sponge Bath

Hi Barbara,

Picking up his ashes yesterday was not as hard as I thought. Gregory is gently resting in the sewing box of his Grandma Carrie, his father’s mother. 

Gregory tells the story of how sorry he was that he was not able to see her when she died and was not able to go to her funeral because he was across the country at school.

He tells of their time together on overnight visits when he was a young boy, when they would sit on the font porch of her house, across the street and a little way down from the Goshen, Indiana court house. 

Gregory loved to play by the court house, walking up and down the grand stairs, and balancing his way around the building on the first floor parapet. 

They would watch the sun go down, and the cars go by, and talk of things. They would always have popcorn for dinner and oatmeal for breakfast. 

She was either poor enough or stingy enough (and probably a little crazy enough) to not bother wanting to light the water heater. She would boil a pot of water, let it cool down, and instruct Gregory how to take a “Navy Bath,” also known as a sponge bath. 

She would instruct Gregory saying, “First you wash as far up as possible, then you wash as far down as possible, then you wash possible.” 

I had ordered a bio-degradable box covered in handmade paper with dried fall leaves affixed to it. For me it was the best of the available choices (and there were many.) 

The night after making his arrangements with The Cremation Society of Illinois, I was sitting in the kitchen folding dusting rags (just realized the significance of “dust to dust”) and it came to me (might you say insight or might you say Gregory or Carrie whispering to me?) that I could use Grandma Carrie’s sewing box for Gregory’s ashes. 

And so the beautiful handmade paper box is now lovingly placed in Carrie’s sewing box and they are both resting peacefully. He loved her very much and is happy to know that his resting place, for now, is with her.

P.S. This will be today’s post that was written especially for you and Les.


  1. Keep trying. Life is still a lot of wonderful things await you.

  2. Thanks Julie. I know you are right and I already continue to enjoy it so much, just a little lonely without my love. Happy Thanksgiving.


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