Antonia Nicol’s said even though she’s gone, she can hear her mom “chuckling” about it
When Antonia Nicol’s father was getting all set to move into a retirement home, he was packing up the beloved bathroom houseplants his wife left behind after she died. Since the death of his wife, Nigel Fitton had been religiously watering the plants because that’s exactly what his wife, Phedre, wanted him to do.
Unfortunately for Nigel, his wife was pranking him — many years after she died. Antonia shared the sweet and funny story on Twitter, and the tweet quickly went viral.
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
“Before my mum passed away, she gave my dad strict instructions to water the plants in the bathroom,” she wrote. “He’s been religiously watering them and 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.”
How adorable is this story? It’s the definition of bittersweet and a testament to what marriage is really like. Also Antonia’s mom sounds like she was a total blast, tbh.
The original tweet seemed to have struck a chord with many people on Twitter, who were quick to share similar stories and send their best wishes to Antonia and her dad.
I was actually welling up til the punchline!!!— Sue Marsh (@suey2y) January 16, 2018
Honestly, we were all so proud of my dad being so dedicated to caring for her plants. Gave him something to do— Antonia (@Flaminhaystack) January 16, 2018
Sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my lovely mum last year, she was 85. But she would've loved that joke; my mum like yours had a wicked sense of humour.— Lawrie The80sBoy #NHSLove #TimeToTalk 🎺🐕🇪🇺🕊 (@The80sBoy) January 17, 2018
OMG! What a legend! Sorry to hear of your loss <3— Laura (@LDBrog) January 16, 2018
Thank you. She was an absolute legend for sure. My parents fell in love when they were 16 years old and she died aged 69. She had to give my dad something to do 😍— Antonia (@Flaminhaystack) January 16, 2018
Your mum sounds like a scream! Sorry for your loss but happy you had such a wonderful parent.— Kit Caless (@KitCaless) January 16, 2018
Before my mom died we made a picture with the whole family there she is sitting in the middle of all of us she always wanted a pic like that after she died we looked at the pic and saw that she had stuck her toungue out at us😂— irmgard price aka mama bear (@yoda76547) January 18, 2018
This has made me giggle before bed. She sounds awesome. And so does your dad. Sorry for your loss xx— abigail mansfield (@abiim) January 16, 2018
Antonia, a firefighter in London, said in subsequent tweets that whenever the water would overflow the plants (you know, because of the whole plastic thing), her dad just assumed the toilet was leaking. “When she died, my dad was grief stricken and just followed her wishes,” she told Scary Mommy. “He religiously watered them for a few years.”
When we lose someone we love, grief and loss can be such an overwhelming presence that it’s hard to focus on much else. Getting to a place where you can remember the wonderful, lighthearted qualities that made them who they are can help ease the pain a bit.
“This is such a lovely memory of her,” she said. “And the messages have been so wonderful. So many people reminiscing about their loved ones or how they would like a relationship like this too. It’s brought a tear to my dad’s eye.”
Antonia’s dad seems like he’s just as awesome as her mom was, considering his good humor at the reaction to his “flora faux pas.”