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Death & Vegas

Death & Vegas

Gina and mel

I only liked  Facebook for when I traveled.  I know you’re not supposed to put you’re out of town; but, I was only ‘friends’ with my actual ‘friends and family,’ and most knew my hectic travel schedule anyway.  And if someone wanted to break in and clean, well, then more power to them. And sometimes you could get the opportunity to meet up with extended family and discuss death over dinner.

A few years back I was traveling from Phoenix to Vegas at least once a month, covering surgical cases for a product I was selling.  I commented on Facebook there’s a noticeable difference between passengers on the Southwest flight who were headed there to party and those who were there to work, even on a 7AM flight.

My step cousin Gina, who lived in Pennsylvania, commented that she and her husband Jeff were there with some friends and we should try and catch up.  I was so excited because it had probably been ten years since I’d seen her.  She and her husband had been very good to my Nonie (grandmother), especially towards the end with all of her medications.

Gina’s Pap (grandfather), Carmine, was first married to a woman by the name of Mary and they had three sons, one of which is Gina’s dad.  My Nonie, Sue, was first married to a man by the name of John, who was my mother and Uncle’s, father. (Got that? Trust it’s relevant.)   Sadly, both Mary and John died before Gina and I were born.  Carmine and Sue married, their grown children already out of the house, when their respective spouses died.  Pap Carmine was the only grandfather I had known on that side of the family.  And Nonie was the only grandmother Gina knew on that side of the family.

My frequent travel to Vegas awarded Platinum status at the Cosmopolitan and misrepresented me as a hooker.  I learned two important bits of information:  women sitting on the row of slots nearest the main aisle in the casino are most likely hookers (you’re welcome), and hookers sat at the bar, by themselves in Armani suits, looking for ‘work.’  Unfortunately, so did a medical device rep, sit at the bar, alone, to get expense reports done.   Two bartenders befriended me and protected me at the bar while I ate.  So Gina and her husband were a welcomed treat over being treated like a hooker.

Gina and I met at Aria first, had a few cocktails and met with Jeff and their friends, where we sat and had more drinks.  All of sudden Gina shouts, ‘Do you remember when our dead grandparents traveled through the town like a parade?’  I thought clearly we’ve all had too much to drink.  She continued, ‘Remember Carmine and Sue both had burial plots with original spouses (Mary and John), and when they got married, and bought four plots so they could all be together in the afterlife?’  Now that she said it, I vaguely remembered hearing something about it, but I had already been living in Arizona for almost ten years when my Nonie passed and over fifteen when my Pap Carmine had passed, in Pennsylvania.

She proceeded to recount the story in hilarious detail.  They had in the wills, after Carmine passed Mary, John and Sue were all to be moved to a mausoleum, and buried side by side.  So three caskets were exhumed, put in the back of hearses and traveled through town, like a parade to their final, final resting place.  Tears were streaming down our faces as we laughed at the thought of poor Mary and John who had no say in the matter, were now spending eternity together.  We figured there was either one hell of card game going on with the four of them, or it was icy cold in heaven.

Pap Carmine





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