“Pimp My Grave”*

Went to The Park Saturday to take Mom out to play for her birthday – just a day spent doing whatever she wanted or needed to do, hanging out and talking about life and the mysteries of the universe.  And every single bite of food she’s eaten for the past week…

First on her list?  Getting up to the cemetery to update the flowers on Dad’s grave.  Seems innocuous enough… perhaps a delicate silk arrangement, something small and tasteful?  Oh, no.  Not in my world…

To put this in context, i need to explain a regional phenomenon.  “Lawn Geese”.  As if us Midwestern Americans don’t earn get enough grief for being frivolous and disconnected from issues that matter, many of us (older women, in particular) will purchase concrete geese for the front porch, and then spend way too much time and money dressing them up.  Seasonal costumes?  Christmas and Patriotic Costumes are popular.  Special Events?  You bet!  Even a bride and groom if you want to present the most annoying wedding gift ever.

Mom suffers from “displaced lawn goose syndrome”, and has applied her compulsion to play dress up with the inanimate to my father’s grave.  She “dresses” it for the seasons.  Despite the fact that i promised my father on his death bed that i would not allow her to put plastic flowers** on his grave, i’ve not generally interfered with her need to decorate his headstone.  It brings her joy.  He really wouldn’t mind…

So rather than explain in much more detail, here are “before” and “after” pictures.

Summer colors fading

Summer colors fading

Autumn plumage on display

Autumn plumage on display

Nothing plastic.  All silk.  The tall posts on either side of the headstone are wrought iron stands – meant to hold hanging baskets of flowers.  i tried to put live plants here, but since there is no shade at the site, everything just bakes.  So Mom hangs small wind chimes on them, and wraps them in fake leaves, tinsel, fake ivy or other odds and ends picked up at the dollar store.

So it goes… 

But when we pimp Dad’s grave, i’m always reminded of discussions i had with him about the headstone he wanted.  Something big!  No little flat ground marker, he wanted a huge monument of some sort.  And we giggled ourselves silly at my suggestion of a giant black granite obelisk – maybe 12 feet tall – emblazoned with the word “Daddy” down the side…

_________

* There’s a very special show on MTV called “Pimp My Ride“.  Where a gang-banger wanna be can get a 1978 Ford Maverick converted into a throbbin’ and bitchin’ set of street wheels.  There was a show where some kid got an AMC Pacer pimped out.  Painful…

** As i’ve mentioned before, Mom is a pack rat.  One of the things she finds most difficult to throw out is artificial flowers.  Dad used to have nightmares – literally – about suffocating in his room under piles of dusty, faded and gnarly looking plastic flowers… Hence the promise…