On March 3rd, 1994, my Dad died from lung cancer. Of course, he had smoked since he was seven; apparently, his parents weren’t exactly the hands-on type. I mean you think they would have clued in when their little tike wanted an ashtray for his birthday or more information about a nicotine patch.
Anyway, the weekend after Dad was buried my mom found out that Alan (Dad’s brother) was coming down to pay his last respects at the grave. Mom wanted everything to be perfect. She told Kelly and me that the grave next to Dad’s had beautiful red and pink flowers and that we were in charge of putting flowers on Dad’s grave. Mom, who was a born-again Christian, apparently wanted us to steal them off the “neighbor’s” grave.
The next morning Kelly and I headed over to Sharon Memorial and we instantly saw the flowers. However, the place was packed with people. This meant we had to steal the bouquet subtlety. Since Kelly and I had only been married for 11 months I figured she’d want to leave. Instead she whispered, “Kneel down and act like you’re mourning for the “neighbor”; when the coast is clear rip out the arrangement.”
I knelt down and pretended to grieve like a widow for at least 10 minutes; finally Kelly said, “Do it.” I grabbed the flowers and yanked as hard as I could. The flowers wouldn’t come out of the vase. I was panicking. I whispered to Kelly, “I think he’s holding them.” I stood up ready to leave and my sweet innocent bride looked at me with stone cold eyes and said, “Let me try.” After a minute of pulling, Kelly noticed a chain holding the flowers in place. She undid the chain and shoved the flowers into Dad’s grave. Mission accomplished.
Unfortunately we never put the flowers back on the “neighbor’s” grave and one day Mom got a call. It was the “neighbor’s” wife. She screamed, “Did you steal the flowers off my husband’s grave?” Mom, the born-again Christian, hung up the phone and till this day we pretend that phone call never happened.