The mysterious Mr. Ashe

... What would you do?

from Bonnie Moore

One day I was perusing around one of my favorite thrift stores and I came upon a box way back on one of the Knick-Knack shelves. This box looked old and homemade like it was from the 1800's. It was blue crushed velvet, and it fit in the palm of my hand.

My interest peaked! I love antiques and anything OLD. I opened it up and there was a small bronze-colored URN in it! My heart must have skipped a beat at that moment! I hesitated but decided to look in it. I slowly unscrewed the top and peeked inside. There were ASHES in it! Cremated ashes! Someone was being sold at a Thrift Store! Oh My God! What the heck is this world coming to?

No Joke? You've got to be kidding ...

I looked around to see if someone was playing a joke on me or even looking at me to see my reaction. No one. I calmly put the box in my carriage, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I lowly walked around the store with what seemed to be a million thoughts running through my head. If I tell them they are selling human remains will they toss it in a dumpster? Will they flush it down a toilet? Will this person ever get a proper burial? WHO would ever donate a relative to a thrift store? WHO in their right mind could knowingly put an urn with human ashes up for sale?

I finally got up enough courage to approach a manager. I started talking
about something else but decided to be honest and get to the point. "Okay,
the real reason I asked you to come over was DID YOU KNOW YOU ARE SELLING HUMAN REMAINS??? I found this on a knick-knack shelf!" He was shocked and momentarily speechless. He pulled me aside and asked me a few questions. He wouldn't even  touch it. He asked me to open it up and show him.

The boss will know ...

He called another employee over. He said he didn't know how it got past anyone. Then he said, "Oh, maybe that's why all the bad stuff is happening." I raised my hands and backed away from the carriage and said, "Hell no, I am not bringing anything negative into the house!" He looked at the price tag and said, "Oh, it's only been here for three days. Weird stuff has been happening around here for longer than that."

We chatted for a little while more. He asked me why I would ever think of
buying it if I knew what it was. I told him, "I think he needs a proper burial.
You wouldn't want your relative to end up in a dumpster tossed out like a
piece of trash would you? I'll give him a proper burial." So we left it at that.

He never asked me for the ashes back. He went to do his job and I continued

He has a name now ...

I walked around the store for another hour or two. I tried to get a "feeling" if this urn was negative or haunted. I certainly am a believer in that kind of
stuff and I wouldn't want to be paying to bring negativity or evil home with me. I didn't get any bad feelings. But I did believe it needed a proper burial
and I was the one to help him. So I bought him for $4.99. (I didn't ask for a
reduced rate because I thought it would be in bad taste).

So, I've named him Mr. Ashe. His box and urn is sitting on a shelf in my living room with the ashes of my previous beloved cats. It will remain here until I figure out the perfect closure for him. (I wanted to consult with the Reverend of my Church to see what his thoughts were).

Although I do have respect for him his situation has made for a great story.
Some of my friends are humored by it, some are mortified. When people ask me where I'm going I tell them I'm going back to look for "MRS." Ashe." (Then they know I'm going thrifting). Friends often ask me "What's Mr. Ashe been up to lately?" I answer, "Oh, he's still hanging out in my living room until I figure out what to do with him." I'v even received cards in the mail with a notation on the bottom asking me how he is doing.

Meanwhile, I often wonder who is in the urn. Where did he come from? Where is the rest of him? (My research says it is a keepsake urn so it is only a part of somebody). He is certainly a mystery. I do know that there was a reason why I was at the thrift store at that moment in time to "find" him. At least now he or she will get the respectful closure they deserve...with my help.   

October 3, 2014        

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