*How I imagined the scene to be, as told to me.
Four daisy-shaped salt shakers stared at my mom: purple, red, blue, and yellow. “Sige na lang, atong butangan ug scotch tape” “We can just put tape over it” Nora said to my mom, in response to her question about the holes on top.
My mom had sent Nora to town to buy four small containers that would hold Mama’s ashes on her journey back home from the Philippines. One for each of us. To my mom's surprise and slight bewilderment, Nora had returned with salt shakers. To her, they were the right size, and would serve the purpose; the holes were a minor detail that could easily be remedied at home.
And that was how my grandma ended up in four salt shakers. Well, part of her anyway. Did I get her arm, her toes, her lung maybe? Had ashes from the previous cremation somehow wound up in my vessel?
I wondered this as I waited for my flight, entranced by Mama’s ashes and bones that filled this odd, cheery salt shaker. Visions of in-flight meals seasoned with her quirks and pruned body haunted me. I bet this was an ending Mama never could have predicted. A slight chuckle escaped me, as I gathered my bags and headed to my gate, the loud speakers yelling boarding groups into my ears.