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Carol Perkins: Reserved

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By Carol Perkins

On the coldest day of the week, my first cousin, Donald Allen Reece, was laid to rest at the Metcalfe Memorial Gardens. It had been a rough week for everyone, especially with the icy weather. On the day of the funeral, however, friends and family filled the chapel. As customary, "Reserved" cloths appeared on the backs of chairs for family members. I draped my coat over the back of a chair in the back row of this reserved section and sat with other relatives.

After a moving sermon by our minister, Steve Scholar of the Edmonton Baptist Church, and a touching eulogy by my husband, Guy (he and Don were golfing buddies as well as friends), we filed by his wife of fifty years, Freeda Reece, and the man we all knew and loved.

As unexpected and as emotional as this one was, I don't think I have ever been to a funeral that something funny or smile-worthy didn't happen. After the burial, the Edmonton Baptist Church and Edmonton Methodist Church prepared a meal for the family.

When we entered the basement of the church, I turned to Guy. "I'm going to take off my coat and put it on the back of a chair at a table rather than wearing it."

As I slipped off my coat, I got my arm tangled in a sleeve.

Someone behind me said, "I believe you dropped something." With a grin and a smirk, he held up the item. "Did you aim to bring this with you?"

When I had thrown my coat over the back of the chair at the funeral home, the hood must have caught the reserve sign under it because when I put on my coat before approaching the body, the sign came with me. I'm hoping it was hidden under the hood rather than hanging on my back for all to see and no one to tell me.

I looked at the sign and immediately knew what I had done.

"Only Carol," Guy said.

I placed the reserved sign on the table where we ate and we speculated about what Don Allen would have said.

I could hear him now. "Way to go, Carol."

The funeral home is trying to figure out what happened to their missing red and gold cloth reserved sign. I will return it soon, but first I think I'll put it on a pew at church, moving it around each Sunday like an elf on the shelf.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2024-01-19 16:13:10
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