I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents since I returned from my trip to Dupo, IL to see my cousin Carla Emrich. One of the things that keeps going through my mind is the statement: “Nobody ever…” So I thought I’d share this story with you.
One day Dad was thumbing through the newspaper want ads and saw 4 cemetery plots for sale at Valhalla Cemetery in Belleville, IL He and Mom discussed it and decided to purchase all 4 of them. They also decided that Dad would be buried in plot 3 and Mom would be in plot 2; with number 1 reserved for me and number 4 for Bernie because Dad was concerned that there would be no place for me and Bernie to buried. When Dad died in 1995 he was buried in plot 3 just as he and Mom had planned. When it was time to place his headstone, Mom told the mortuary that Dad was facing the kneeling Jesus statue; so they contacted the cemetery and was told Mom was wrong because “Nobody ever does it that way.” So the cemetery personnel x-rayed the grave site and wound up placing Dad’s headstone exactly the way Mom said it should be!
Fast forward to 2002 when Mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. One of the requirements for the nursing home was that all assets had to be “spent down” — all the rental property and Mom’s house had to be sold; even her funeral had to be prepaid which was emotionally draining for both Sis and me. We were also told that the extra 2 cemetery plots had to be sold as part of the “spend down.” Sis said that was impossible because Dad was in plot 3 and Mom would be in plot 2. “Nobody ever…” was what we heard; so once again Dad’s grave had to be x-rayed, and you guessed it … We didn’t have to sell plots 1 & 4. Us 2; The “Establishment” 0! So the moral of this story is: Forget about “Nobody ever…” and as Ol’ Blue Eyes and The King sing: “I did it My Way!”