The one we were guided to for Dominic had a TV in the lobby streaming commercials, one of which included a family handing out bottles of barbecue sauce. All smiles.
We walked in and were informed they give 90 per cent off if the deceased is a child. Plus insurance and we won't pay for the cremation. Oh and here's some free bottled water branded with the name of the funeral home.
They said his urn would be ready to pick up Sunday (today). They'd call us when it was.
We dreaded the call. But it never came. So we called them.
"I'm sorry sir but the crematorium is closed today."
A minute of curses, accusations and questions of who lied to me Friday followed. Then I hung up. And we drove to the place to get some real answers, because the woman on the phone was "new here" and really didn't understand the seriousness of the situation.
It's a good damn thing we didn't wind up with a Sunday flight. Apparently he's been cremated, but nobody delivered the ashes to the funeral home. We've been assured that will happen Monday by 12:30 p.m., in time for us to catch a 4 p.m. flight home to Calgary.
Orlando has been the best of times and the worst of times, times a thousand. We will always have that day at Disney last Monday, but right after it we also have his death.
We will always have Saturday night to contrast what happened Sunday as well. We went to dinner with Tim and Judy Scheerer, whose son Trevor has relapsed cancer and is going to Philadelphia soon for special proton radiation. I met Tim through Facebook once we knew we were coming to Orlando for a wish trip.
Like us they are doing all they can for their son. Our country's medical systems differ greatly but everyone has the same goal: cure cancer.
After dinner we went to a special ceremony (organized by the Talia's Legacy Children's Cancer Foundation) at a local lake. The lake's fountain was lit up gold in recognition of childhood cancer awareness month (September). The people we met were incredible, many having lost children of their own, all ready with hugs and kind ears to hear what we were feeling.
What we felt that night was that Dominic chose this place. And that we are thankful for the community here, but also that it's time to say goodbye and move on with our own journey.
It's time to come home. Hopefully the funeral home won't stand in our way.