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The end of the sad saga

The weather was exceptionally beautiful this morning — not only in the Silicon Valley where we live and work, but also over the hills along Highway 17, and even in the coastal area around Santa Cruz. There were no fogs, mists, or clouds.

I am not an early bird, but I woke up really early this morning to prepare for Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo’s final journey — the scattering of his ashes from a 35 foot trawler motor yacht, DESTINY.

On Saturday, 10th June, 2000, Dr. Khin Nyo Thet and Dr. Lyn Swe Aye had retrieved the cremated remains of Htay Lwin Nyo from Oak Hill Funeral Home. OHFH had packed and sealed Htay Lwin Nyo’s ashes in a sturdy, shining metal box (in compliance with postal regulations). With the approval of Htay Lwin Nyo’s family members in Yangon, Myanmar, we decided to give Htay Lwin Nyo a sea burial.

RIT Alumni International had earlier sent an advance check of $75 to Captain Pete Petersen, skipper of DESTINY. In his brochure, Captain Petersen clearly stated that “inclement weather will result in a rescheduling”. We do not want high winds to prolong the sad saga. The unusually fine weather, according to Dr. Lyn Swe Aye, must be Htay Lwin Nyo’s kusala (kutho or good deeds) and the well wishing of numerous friends and colleagues. We all agree.

Dr. Khin Nyo Thet had asked me to be at her house not later than 7:30 a.m. She was surprised but delighted when I showed up barely a few minutes after 7 a.m. “It’s better to be early than late”, she said and gave me a cup of coffee and some biscuits [that looked and tasted like those way back in Burma]. Dr. Lyn Swe Aye had come back from his early biking round.

There was virtually no traffic on the way to Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. To cut the story short, DESTINY took off at 5 mph. There were no swells. More than a mile into the ocean waters, the Captain set the gears to neutral. Dr. Khin Nyo Thet scattered Htay Lwin Nyo’s ashes into the ocean waters. There were tears in her eyes. There was also relief knowing that she had done her best to give the last rites to Htay Lwin Nyo. We shared our merits once more to Htay Lwin Nyo.

The round trip took about 50 minutes or so. It was the finale of a sad saga.

Thanks to all those who endured with us. May Htay Lwin Nyo rest in peace.

Regards,
Hla Min

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