Planning Ahead

I get a strange request.

I got an odd phone call today in my office. A man I know — his name doesn’t matter — called to see if he could fly along with another group of passengers on one of my Hassayampa River Canyon tours. He evidently didn’t want to pay the whole price — the hour-long tour is $395 plus tax — and was hoping to split it with someone. I don’t get a lot of calls for that tour but I took his phone number and promised him that the next time I got a request for that tour with only one or two passengers, I’d give him a call.

He asked me if I’d heard the rumors about him. I told him truthfully that I hadn’t. Then he told me he’d been diagnosed with brain cancer. He was going through treatment, but just in case he didn’t make it, he wanted me to know where a specific peak in the Hassayampa River canyon area was so I could come back and scatter his ashes there. He’d buy the ticket for the scattering in advance and leave it with his papers so his sister and brother could have it taken care of.

Is it wrong for me to feel strange about this? Because I do.

I’ve done ash scatterings before, but never for someone who had flown with me and told me exactly where he wanted to be scattered.

Anyway, I’ll see if I can get some folks interested in the tour and give him a call. Perhaps some of his friends will chip in for a custom tour that’ll be shorter and cheaper.

But what I’m really hoping is that that brain cancer goes away and I don’t have to take him — either alive or in a baggy. The idea just gives me the willies!

What do you think?