Friday, March 29, 2013

mrs. betty pearl roberts

Epitaphs are phrases or statements chiseled as an inscription on a tombstone in memory of a person who has died,
to perpetuate a lasting impression.
Many epitaphs are respectful and solemn but some are
pretty humorous.

I learned of one such humorous epitaph in Key West's historic cemetery and decided that I wanted to see it for myself.
I knew I could ask the sexton where it was but finding it on my own would be a game I would play for the better part of my twelve years in Key West.
No, it's not like I spent a lot of time hunting it down; it was more like every few months I'd ride my bike or walk through the cemetery on my way to work or to Fausto's and just kind of keep a casual eye out.

Then one day, quite by accident about six months ago,
I found it.

Before she died of a heart attack, Betty Pearl Roberts (better known as Pearl) told her husband what epitaph she wanted engraved on her tombstone.

Even though she'd had at least 18 operations, mostly on her stomach, she had a lot of trouble convincing friends and family that she was really ill.
She had complained about pains in her stomach and back but no one, not even her doctors, took her seriously.
Her husband Nathan said that part of the problem was, she never lost her sunny disposition nor her sense of humor.
Friends and family would say things like, "how could you be sick, you're always smiling"; and they were saying that until the day she died.

Still, Pearl knew she wasn't long for this world and picked out her favorite pink dress then told her husband, "no jewelry".

And the epitaph she wanted. . .

Pearl died at age 50 at the Florida Keys Memorial Hospital and was laid to rest in the family plot at the city cemetery.
She was survived by her husband Nathan, her son Harry, her daughter Nellie Anderson, four sisters, one brother
and two grandchildren.

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