Memphian upset after finding muddy mess at mother’s grave

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Jeff Franks can't recall a Mother's Day he hasn't spent with his mom.

"She represents who I am."

For the past three years, that's meant stopping by Elmwood Cemetery to visit her grave. Nestled amongst graves dating back to 1852, Mary Franks is buried alongside her sister.

"They grew up playing here and she said, 'This is where I want to be laid to rest.'"

But after what he saw when he and brother went to pay their respects this Mother's Day, Franks said he doubts his mother would want to be buried here now.

"The headstone was actually over here, turned sideways."

"Second to losing her that`s how bad it hurt," he added.

In a video he posted to Facebook, Franks can be seen wiping mud off his mother's headstone.

"I was angry. Every emotion you could think of went through me."

"The minute we were made aware of this accident, we attended to it immediately."

Kim McCollum, who oversees Elmwood Cemetery, said workers made the mess Saturday when they were prepping for four funerals near the spot were Mary is buried.

"I guarantee you it was a human error and my grounds crew regrets it a great deal."

Franks said it's too late for apologies. He's even rejected the cemetery's offer of a new headstone.

"I realize you bury people here, but you come back. You`ve got to make it look more presentable when somebody shows up on the scene."

McCollum said that's what she and her staff strive to do. She also said she hopes Franks will accept her invitation to talk about it.

"I wanted to talk with him. I wanted to alleviate any problems or hard feelings there might be."