Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Obliging Rose Bush

I have an uncle who died of cancer. Within weeks of his diagnosis, the horrible disease ravaged his body, and my aunt was left alone. My uncle didn't believe in life after death and after their two children died in a car accident, years before, they never visited the gravesite again — but they had a plan: the whole family would to be buried together and in this way, would be together forever, which was comforting. However, when the time arrived, the paperwork could not be located and the nearing plots had already been sold. As a result, my uncle was buried elsewhere — in a grassless, dirt-filled graveyard, embellished with various cacti. The whole thing carried a bitter sting, and needless to say, was distressing to my aunt and her family.

So I came up with a plan, and this is how it went:

Dear Aunt [Sally]:

Today, I made something special to take to the graveyard.

A capsule with your family pictures and a special, secret message.

Then I went to just the right place...

Where I dug a stealthy hole...

And hoped not to get caught.

I took some of the hallowed ground
for you to plant in your garden.
(I love your garden)

 ...and left something in its place.

Then I filled in the edges with dirt and grass clippings.

And "borrowed" a flower from the cemetery 
rose bushes to cover my tracks.

 I kept some of the displaced soil for you to put with my uncle.
As far as I can figure, if you're buried in the same soil, 
you're buried in the same place.

Then I stood back and admired my handiwork...
and thought of you all.

Nearby, I found another grave of interest: that of my maternal grandfather's (we think).
My mother has been without family roots most of her life, so I dug up some of his 
grass and sent her some "roots" to plant in her yard.

I may have borrowed another flower from 
those lovely, obliging rose bushes.

After my visit to this sanctified place, I packaged up the grass and dirt — stuffed with plastic ice cubes to keep it cool — along with pictures of my doings. I am told that the grass was planted in the respective yards, and the precious soil was placed appropriately. I am further informed that the grass spread quickly through my aunt's garden and was soon transplanted to my uncle's grave — which in my cousin's head is the most thriving, grassy mound in the driest necropolis ever to be found — but in reality, upon recent inspection, is a small patch of beautiful green which I hear my cousin waters regularly. I like to imagine him sloshing along with his watering can, whistling a happy tune.

 **Oh, happiness!**

What wonderful feedback to receive after all of these months.

Thank you for reading.

All Best,


P.S. My aunt leaned over and whispered in my ear that someday I would have to tell her the secret message. Perhaps someday...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Five-Dollar Debacle

A few weeks ago, while driving, I caught sight of something in the road, and ever the curious girl, I slowed down to investigate. This is what I found. I searched around to see if anyone obvious might may have dropped the bill, but the road was empty and the weather was starting to turn. I knew the fragile denomination would soon be lost to the snow plows, so I rescued it in the hopes of reuniting it with its owner.

As I continued to drive, my thoughts kept drifting back to the note, sitting in the lower dash of my car — separated and special. I wondered what good could be accomplished in the world with so small amount as five dollars, and the more I pondered, the more I realized I needed advice from a person much wiser than myself.

My four and six-year-old nephews imparted their counsel with enthusiasm: "Give it to someone else!" and "Buy stuff!" My sister, who is pregnant and craving sweets, added, "I'd buy cookies."

Photo credit: Debarshi Ray / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Cookies! It was obvious... in my small, yet meaningful world, cookies always equal love, as do CUPCAKES ... and I'm all about spreading the love. Five dollars, however, was not much to go around when divided by seven billion people. My brain crackled and sizzled — an occurrence which my siblings will tell you is rare — and by morning, a solution had sprouted in my stewing, calculating head: cookies were not meant to be divided, they were meant to be shared, and that is a monumental difference, as the sharing itself multiplies the joy-producing effect. It was my job to somehow multiply the joy produced by those five dollars.

Now, I've always been a bit of a letter writer. It is my opinion that getting a hand-written letter in the mail is the equivalent of receiving a telegram in the nineteen-fifties — and stamps definitely fell within my budget range. So, I sat down and wrote some letters, plus a few more that could be hand delivered.

Some examples of my care-laden communications included the following:

Encouraging a nephew in the military who is nervous about getting deployed; an overdue thank you note to an elderly gent who has shared his wisdom with me on more than one occasion; a letter to someone of whom I needed to ask forgiveness; a message detailing the special qualities in a friend who was down on herself; a quick thank you note through the bank shoot to the teller who always smiles at me (as I was driving away, of course!)... and so forth.

After all that letter writing, there was still one thing left to be done:

Just think of all the friends I'll make with a sign like that! I'm the luckiest girl in the world! 

Why am I always surprised to find that I'm the one who is blessed? Please join me in my clumsy, near debacle-ish efforts to make the world a slightly better place.

Until Next Time,

Eliott McKay

To find out how this story ends, click here: The Crank Call.

Inkitt Contest