Antonia Nicol is a 46-year-old firefighter with the London Fire Brigade in England. Her late mother, Phedre Fitton, had been living in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Antonia's dad Nigel before she died in 2013 from cancer.
Since her mom's death, Antonia has been tirelessly traveling from her home in London to visit her dad in Johannesburg and spend more time with him. Most recently, she has helped him transition into his new life in a retirement home. "It was very difficult," she told BuzzFeed News.
Antonia said one of Phedre's last directives to Nigel before she was admitted to the hospital about four years ago were "strict instructions to water the plants in the bathroom." So Nigel has been "religiously" watering this plant. He's been very proud of himself for not only keeping the plant alive, but doing so well that the plant looks vibrant today.
Well, when Antonia flew to Johannesburg to help her dad pack and move to the retirement home, they both finally noticed something. The plant in the bathroom was plastic. It was a fake plant.
"It was so funny when we found out — we laughed so much," Antonia said. "It was like she was there with us again."
This week, Antonia decided to share this moment on Twitter, where it's gone viral.
People say they're tearing up over the joke itself, and over the sweet and unique tribute to Phedre.
People are hailing Phedre a "legend" and an inspiration.
Others who've lost family who had a similarly "wicked" sense of humor really related.
One person shared their own unique and silly story. "The comments coming out on the tweet about other people who have lost loved ones makes it even more beautiful," Antonia said. "People are connecting over a shared feeling of love and loss."
She added that her dad, who is recovering from a serious operation, knows about the surprising impact and laughs the story has caused, and it's touched his heart.
"It's brought my mum back to life for him — just for a moment," she added.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at email@example.com.
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