Loss is never an easy thing to face, no matter how it comes to pass or how old the person is. But one way people can often try to keep the memory of a loved alive is by following their final wishes, or by keeping up some routine that helps remind them of that person. For London firefighter Antonia Nicol who lost her mother to cancer five years ago, this meant watching her father water her mother’s plants every day, twice a day, as part of following some of her final requests.
But Nicol recently tweeted and revealed something rather funny, and touching, about her father’s almost-religious obsession with keeping the plants alive and healthy. It was this year that her father finally moved out of the home and decided to take the plants with him where she discovered that they weren’t actually real.
They were made out of plastic.
Before my mum passed away, she gave my dad strict instructions to water the plants in the bathroom. He's been religiously watering them & keeping them alive. They look so amazing he decided to take them to his new home, only to discover they are plastic! Can hear my mum chuckling pic.twitter.com/N87giD5zKT— Antonia Nicol (@Flaminhaystack) January 16, 2018
Nicol told the Independent:
“She'd fought cancer for 5 years but it beat her in the end in November 2013. My parents live in South Africa whilst I live here, so it was a very difficult time for us all.
“When my dad found out that he'd been watering plastic plants for years, it was so funny for all of us and made us feel like she was still with us.”
The response online has been incredible as people from all over the world have reached out to Antonia to tell him how touching the story she tweeted was.
“Fantastic. Your mum sounds hilarious,” wrote one user.
“I was actually welling up til the punchline!!!” added another.
She was very funny. Had a cheeky sense of humour for sure.— Antonia Nicol (@Flaminhaystack) January 16, 2018
Meanwhile Antonia has responded to those online thanking them for their wonderful messages:
“The response has generally been incredible. My dad has been overwhelmed by the level of interest and so have I. It's so lovely to hear my friends and family talking and remembering my mum again. She would have loved this so much.
“They met when they were 16 years old. They have been together all their lives. They worked together. It was an absolute tragedy that they never got to spend their old age together.”
Personally we think this is just the cutest little practical joke, and exactly the sort of thing we’d expect a couple to do to each other. We hope one day that we can be as funny as Antonia’s mother who had a wicked sense of humour.
Honestly, we were all so proud of my dad being so dedicated to caring for her plants. Gave him something to do— Antonia Nicol (@Flaminhaystack) January 16, 2018