An article on MSN.com (You can read the article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48718780#.UDGTCaP4IdM) caught my eye . . . a guy in Alabama is fighting to keep his wife buried in the front yard of his home. James Davis is fighting the community of Stevenson (population of 2,600) to keep his wife right where he buried her back in April of 2009—in his front yard a few feet from the front porch. Originally the city council refused his request, he went ahead and did it anyways . . . the city council then sued him and won . . . but he appealed. At the present time the decision lies in the hands of the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals. Mr. Davis has already stated, no matter what the outcome, that he is going to leave her where he buried her—in the front yard. He is running for a position in the city council with the motto: “Let Patsy Rest in Peace”.
Apparently this is a bigger argument than just planting one’s spouse in the flower bed in the front yard . . . this is an argument about personal rights and government's power to regulate private property. I will be curious to see how this turns out, but in the meantime, I am a little intrigued by the whole thing . . . com’on, this guy buried his wife in the front yard!
The wife and I have not talked a whole bunch about what we want done when either one of us dies, but I do not think that either one of us wants to be buried in the front yard of our home. Of course, once either one of us is gone . . . we will never know what the other does. The wife could darn well buried me under the apple tree if I were to die. So, I am telling you now, if I suddenly disappear—check under the apple tree! It is kind of morbid, this idea of burying one’s spouse in the front yard. Besides, the wife would never do it because it wouldn’t help the flowers any. Even though I am full of it, it is probably not enough to fertilize the whole yard or flower bed.
Yet, at the same time, I guess I can see some advantages to burying the wife in the front when that time comes. I’d save a little money by not having to purchase a burial plot in the local cemetery (even though plots are cheap—a buck is a buck). I’d be able to visit her plot everyday . . . no gas wasted driving to the cemetery. I could step out the door each morning and say, “Good morning, Honey!” while picking up the morning paper. The tombstone could make a really cool yard ornament. Shoot we have a big ol’ rock already in the front yard that looks like a tombstone . . . it says “Huskers”. No, the University of Nebraska football team is not buried there . . . but I’d offer them the space if they don’t have a good season. Plus we have lots of other yard ornaments in the yard . . . what’s one more? It could add to our landscaping . . . plant a few bushes on the mound, a couple of flowers here and there . . . shoot it might even bring up the value of the property! Who knows!
I imagine, though, that the neighbors would complain. I don’t know too many people who live next to cemeteries. We did for a long time when we lived in Nebraska . . . beautiful place during the day, but creepy at night. Most people don’t have problems with pets being buried in the yard (as long as it is the back yard), but a full-sized plot in the front yard might be a little too much. Yet, at the same time, imagine how cool it would be during Halloween.
I can understand Mr. Davis’ fighting this issue with the city of Stevenson . . . the man is attempting to honor the wishes of his wife at the time of her death. He is trying to honor a promise he made to his wife. I can also understand the city’s point of view . . . after all, the house is located in pretty much in downtown Stevenson. In his mind it is a simple issue; in the minds of the city it is also a simple issue—the courts will decide. In the meantime ol’ Patsy continues to push up daisies.
I guess this should be an impetus for the wife and I to talk about what we want when that day comes . . . we are not getting any younger! As I stated earlier, I have not really thought about it too much. I can say that if I were to be buried out in the front yard, I would not want to be buried under the apple tree. Nope, I’d want to be buried under the aspen tree. It is a much prettier location . . . and, besides, the mound of dirties already there . . . plus the “Huskers” tombstone. The wife could just add “. . . and John, too” to the “Huskers” tombstone. That would get the neighbors talking!
The reality of all of this is that if either one of us ends up buried in the front yard, it is not because we chose to have it that way. No, it is probably because one of us had to get rid of the body . . . so the burial would probably take place in the middle of the night without a graveside ceremony. No one would ever know!
I wish Mr. Davis luck in his court case . . . there seems to be a lot riding on this one. I hope he gets to honor the wishes of the one he loves. In the meantime, the wife and I will discuss our end of the road plans . . . save the children a little work . . . but, I can assure you that neither one of us wants to be buried in our front yard. We kind of like our front yard the way it is . . .