The drive usually takes half an hour. Every year it would usually fly by, with mum and dad yapping about being late and whose fault it was this time, and I would laugh at grandpa’s silly jokes and listen to his stories. The family tradition of taking the same picture in the exact same spot every year first began when I was twelve. We were visiting grandpa’s new house, where he moved after grandma passed. It was a quaint little house in a village near the mountains, often frequented by tourists in the summer months, but it was quiet and tranquil. My mum always worried about how he would cope, but he always gave her a reassuring smile and said “Don’t worry love, she always talked about this place. It’s where I’m meant to be!” As we were driving there for the first time, my mum suddenly pulled over and told us to get out for a picture. That’s how the tradition began. Every year we would visit grandpa in the mountains, and we would pick him up then drive to the same spot and take the picture. This year however, was a little different.
My dad and I sat quietly in the car, him carefully holding the bright pink plastic bag on his lap. I had to fight the sudden urge to laugh. What on earth would mum say about this? She would probably laugh and make a witty joke. She had inherited my grandpa’s humour, after all. We picked up grandpa, armed with his binoculars like every year, and set course for our beloved picture-spot. I pulled the car over and helped grandpa out of the car. Dad carefully placed the plastic bag down on the ground, and then proceeded to set up the camera and tripod. Dad set the timer and we posed for the picture, same as every year, only this time someone was missing. A split second after the picture was taken, my Dad let out something between a laugh and a cry. “I left her on the ground, didn’t I?” The pink plastic bag lay a few feet away from Dad, my Mum’s ashes resting inside. Before I could react, Grandpa grabbed my arm, his face streaked with tears. I put a reassuring arm around his shoulders. “This is where she wanted to be!” He nodded.
My Dad picked up the plastic bag, and together we set the ashes free into the canyon.