By Zahie El Kouri
Less than a year before my father’s diagnosis, my parents bought their burial plots. They announced this when I came home to visit them in May.
“There is nothing wrong with your father,” my mother said. “It was The Greek Physician’s idea.”
“He wanted to buy his plots, and I guess he likes us, so he wants us to be near them.”
He shrugged, with a small, satisfied smile on his face, like he was talking about seats at the theater.
This was certainly not the first time my parents had discussed their deaths with me. Every year, my mother pulled out a yellow legal pad that listed all the details I would need to know, the combination to the safe, the location of a power of attorney, the man to contact about the life insurance payout. Every year, on one of my visits home, we would sit around the kitchen table with the white marble floors and the view of the green lawn and the murky lagoon and we would go through the yellow list.
But this year, after we did this, the three of us got in my parents’ new dark grey Lexus and drove to the cemetery. As usual, my father drove, my mother sat next to him, and I sat in the back seat, just like a million car trips in the past. We passed the manicured lawns, whitish driveways, and big, new-money homes, always set back about the same distance from the street. Out of deference to me, my father turned off Rush Limbaugh, so there was silence in the car. It was a happy silence. Continue Reading…