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...


  1. Eliott, that was a magical post. Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Deborah and Nicole... always going for magical :)

  3. You hooked me with the "stealthy hole" and the secret message. Do I have to dig it up to find out what it said? Another sweet gesture, Eliott. :)


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