Despite the fact that his mother has been resting peacefully in the same plot at Glendale Cemetery in Etobicoke for the past 10 years, Cecil Mercer was worried sick about her on Sunday. And understandably so.
It was Mother’s Day, and he couldn’t find her.
Clutching the flowers he intended to lay at her gravesite, a perplexed Mercer and his wife instead spent a panicked 20 minutes pacing the cemetery grounds near Albion Road and Highway 27, desperately trying to find the spot where both his mother and father are buried.
“My wife says ‘Maybe we are in the wrong spot?’ I said ‘No it’s right here,’ ” Mercer told CityNews.
And he should know.
His father has been buried at the same spot since 1996 and he’s been visiting the site for more than 20 years.
But this time, his parents’ plaque was nowhere to be found. There was nothing but a patch of green grass.
“I was terrified that they had dug it up and moved it,” Mercer said. “It’s very upsetting to me because I’ve been wandering around looking for my mom and dad and it’s Mother’s Day.”
Mercer, flowers still in hand, trudged towards the cemetery office where staff there seemed equally stumped by the vanished gravesite.
Eventually a maintenance worker was summoned and, at Mercer’s insistence, he slammed a shovel into the ground. A loud clank provided the early evidence. Further digging confirmed it — the plaque had been completely sodded over.
Mercer said he has since spoken to management at the cemetery, who chalked it up to an unfortunate error during routine maintenance work. They also assured him that new checks and balances were being implemented to avoid a repeat situation.
“I said ‘This is ridiculous. I don’t accept that as an answer, I can’t.’ How disrespectful is that to my family’s plot?”
“Just think about someone coming there and not being able to find their parents’ grave? Do you know how stressful that is?”
Management at Glendale Cemetery did not immediately return CityNews’ calls for comment.