Now for Italy. I brought both my parents to Italy with me for my wedding and honeymoon, in color-coded containers of course so as not to confuse them, and to pass through airport security discretely. I don't know what the rules are for crossing international borders with human remains, but I do know that it's illegal to scatter them just anywhere. For whatever reason. They're hardly a bio-hazard -- they've been cleansed by fire for god's sake! Anyway, blue scientific jars for Dad and red spice jars for Mom, and a determination to spread them around Italy, a place they both loved (especially Mom -- man, she was obsessed with the entire country! Rightly so).
In Florence, I took them to one of the highest points in Boboli Gardens, with its stunning views of the rolling Tuscan countryside. It's an immensely pleasant place to be, dead or alive. In fact I wish I was there right now. Last time I was there, prior to our wedding trip, was with Mom in 2008. We trekked up to this particular garden, but it's hard to imagine her making that trek in more recent years, knowing what I know now about her heart condition. :-(
Anyway, there were pink rose bushes on either side of the main garden path, so I sprinkled some Dad on the left, and some Mom on the right. And there they lie, each under their own rose bush, looking up at the blue sky but protected from the bright sun. And if there are such things as spirits -- or even ghosts -- I like to think of them sitting on the edge of the wall looking out at the beautiful scenery when everyone else has gone for the day.
Under Mom's rosebush, I encountered this little green lizard. He/she ran at first, but then gave me a cautious backwards glance over his/her shoulder. Hello, little lizard! Somehow I thought this would've been more appropriate under Dad's rosebush (he often called me "Lizard"), but this lizard was waiting for Mom. Maybe because of all the lizard adventures we had in Paestum on our 2008 trip together. We counted 20+ lizards on our short walk between the train station and the temples, and there was even one in her lap while we ate lunch!