As you may recall, my dad passed away July 8.
We honored his memory by creating a funeral program worthy of his respect: we made a racing form.
Complete with horseracing logos and everything, it looked like the real deal. Except that the horses' names were sayings and events that tied into his life. Everyone said it was the perfect way to commemorate him.
My brother had this great idea to take this concept a step further.
"Wouldn't it be cool if Pop's ashes could be scattered from a racehorse crossing the finish line?"
We all agreed and suddenly realized that the idea wasn't too far fetched.
A neighbor of my parents trains racehorses. One evening, my brother approached the neighbor and asked him what he thought of the idea.
This neighbor adored my dad. They used to sit and chat for hours, smoking cigars and having a drink.
"I can't think of a better way to send off old Tom", he said, and with that the plan was set in motion.
Horse trainers know jockeys.
The neighbor managed to get one of the top jockeys to ride this horse around the track, Dad's ashes in tow, and just as he crossed the line flipped open a medicine container with some of the ashes. In fact, the jockey was moved beyond belief to perform such an honor.
I wasn't there to witness it, the whole thing was arranged too quickly for me to travel home to witness it. But my family was present, with cameras and I'm sure a hankie or two.
My dad loved the horses. He wasn't a racetrack bum or a high roller. "Don't bet too much, don't win too much, don't lose too much" was his saying. He loved the mathematical and strategic art of handicapping.
Now he's blowing in the wind out there, up close and personal with his favorite four legged creatures.
Go Dad Go!