Saturday, June 16, 2012

He who laughs last...

Years ago when my mother was still alive and residing here on our property, we took her up north to decorate graves one Memorial Day.  She asked Cliff to take her a little way off the main road on our return trip so she could decorate the grave of her second husband's baby that died back in the thirties.  The graveyard was on highway 116 a few miles west of Polo, Missouri.  
In the whole graveyard, one particular grave stood out; my curiosity got the better of me, and I simply had to take a closer look.


I also took a picture, but who knows where it is.  That was back before digital cameras.  We passed the cemetery today on the way to the Lathrop tractor show.  
Back on that Memorial Day weekend there was a man at the gate to the cemetery taking offerings for the upkeep of the graveyard, and I asked Cliff to stop so I could ask the guy if he knew the story behind this monument.  
Stimpy, mentioned at the bottom, was Junior's cat, and if I remember correctly, was buried with him.  
Harold Jr. was a gay man, an employee of Hallmark, whose family disowned him once they learned of his lifestyle.  He died of AIDS, but before his death he made plans for a memorial in the family's graveyard of choice... something that would stand out in such a way that relatives could not ignore him, ever again.  
The man at the gate told me that before Memorial Day, several people had come out and polished and waxed the monument until it fairly gleamed.  At the time I wrote a rather lengthy poem about the whole thing.  
So this morning when we drove past the cemetery, I noticed another structure of some kind close by the tomb and told Cliff I wanted to stop on the way back and check it out.


It doesn't seem to be a grave marker.  Junior's friends must have decided his grave wasn't drawing quite enough attention, so they added a little something.  
Think twice before you disinherit your child.  He may reach out from beyond the grave and bring some hidden things to light.   
  

9 comments:

Jon said...

A very interesting and unique story - - thanks for sharing it.

I don't want to have any kind of a grave marker after I'm gone. If the relatives didn't give a damn about me when I'm living, I sure as heck don't want them gawking at me after I'm six feet under.

Sonya Cox said...

Interesting story! And I love your blog topper! So pretty. I love a good country cow scene. Reminds me of my grandfather. He had a farm and lots of cows and a couple of horses at times. I guess that is why I'm fond of the country! Even though I'm a small town girl grown into a big city girl. Ya'll have a good father's day! I'm off to PA tomorrow and honestly wanting to rest while there! When I come home I'll be cleaning like a mad woman! lol Have a great week ahead.

Melissa Wiggins said...

I got a chuckle out of the graveyard story. Thanks for posting it -- especially with the pictures. Revenge can be sweet. MGW

TARYTERRE said...

LOVE this story. Ignorance is shameful. I am glad he has the attention he deserves. Sometimes the ones we love can be so cruel.

Sandisan said...

He must have had great friends! I think it's awful that people will continue their vendetta against people even beyond the grave.

Pudge450 said...

After reading the comments, I'm not sure anybody understood the significance of the second marker.

Donna said...

Pudge, it brought two things to mind for my husband and me: Either a phallic symbol or the middle finger. Is that how you saw it?

Pudge450 said...

I had not thought of the finger; but, I'm sure it was one of the two.

Susan said...

Junior was my cousin, we didn't call him Harold, lol, he was a character! Never a dull moment around him. Sadly, the story is true. I never stopped loving him gay or not! His partner was loving caring man, they wore matching wedding rings. I wish him and his brother Jerry would have made up before he died, growing up they were never apart. As for the mausoleum, he was fearful of being buried underground. the latter piece was to remind everyone he was a "Zeikle" and proud of it too! Thank you for posting his grave, I cried when I saw it. I haven't been to Prairie Ridge for many years.
Lisa, Mary Sue's daughter