MIAMI – For T.Y. Hilton Sr., his mother's gravesite has been a place of refuge and hope.
"Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I can talk to mom," said Hilton, father and former coach of the Indianapolis Colts star wide receiver of the same name. "Reliving the old times when I was coming up, making believe hearing her voice talking back to me, 'I'm proud of you.'"
But Sunday he said he was told by the manager at Dade Memorial Park cemetery that there had been a terrible mistake: Lula Mae Hilton, who died in 2007, wasn't really buried where they had been led to believe she was buried.
"They told me they were moving the headstone," he said. "When they called me, I relived everything again. How could this happen?"
Hilton was told that his mother's gravestone would have to be moved because someone else actually owned that plot and would have to be buried there. So where was his mother?
Hilton said Debbie Ramirez, a manager with Caballero Rivero Cemeteries and Funeral Homes, told him that his mother was actually buried in the plot directly to the right of the one where he had been visiting.
Yet Hilton said he clearly remembers the grave being dug in that spot and watching his mother's casket being lowered into it. He said the plot to the right, where the cemetery is telling him his mother is located, has remained undisturbed all those years.
"They dug the hole right here, so I don't know what's going on," he said. "They dug the hole right here and put the headstone right here, so how did she get (in the plot nearby)?"