By Mark W. Danielson
My dad always wanted his ashes scattered. I had frequently performed that task many years ago when I was a charter pilot, so when my father passed last September, I promised Mom I would fulfill Dad’s wish this spring when I ferried my airplane from Seattle to Fort Worth.
I had planned to fly from Fort Worth to Seattle on American Airlines on Mother’s Day and meet Mom that evening, but with the Seattle weather was expected to turn sour that day, I left the day before. Leaving early turned out to be a blessing as it was a beautiful flight seeing all of the volcanoes, and I was able to spend Mother’s Day with Mom.
My brother joined me for Dad’s last flight and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Smooth air and excellent visibility had my brother smiling the whole way. It was nice that the coastal fog ended just northwest of Tamales Bay because that area is where I had chosen to make the drop. When I was sufficiently out to sea, I opened the window, held onto the bag, and gently scattered Dad’s ashes over the Pacific he once sailed in the Navy. My brother and I said our final good-bye, knowing how much this meant to Mom and Dad.
I doubt I will ever perform that task again, and certainly not in my airplane as it is far too slow to make the return trip to California. Still, this was a special flight filled with good memories, and I was elated knowing Dad smiling from above.