It's almost summer and by now my Dad's garden would be bursting with fresh vegetables for my Mom. My sister planted her some tomatoes as per my Dad's request. Right before my Dad went into the hospital for the final time he said, "Someone needs to plant your Mom a garden,... I wasn't through doing that for her you know.." Knowing he didn't have much time left, he was worried about making sure my Mom was taken care of in EVERY way including her garden that he maintained with a fervor for as long as I can remember.
He planted my Mom a garden EVERY year whether he ate the things she liked or not. My Dad, not one for cucumbers, had wonderfully home-grown cucumbers for the love of his life because she liked them (his daughters did too). Also, my sister took some bell peppers from last summer's garden and chopped them up and froze them so now my Mom can still have some of those from my Dad's garden for her. Sweet, huh?
I can't count the times I have looked at fresh tomatoes recently and thought of Dad, or how my Mom can still have something at her dinner table that my Dad grew just for her. Not to mention I keep catching myself inviting Mom to do something with us and I keep saying "when are y'all coming over?" My Mom isn't a 'y'all' but I can't single her out yet for some reason.
He keeps popping into my head over and over.
Thursday Jace had a 'graduation' from elementary school. (CONGRATS to Jace!) This consisted of a small program of awards, comments, slide show, refreshments, etc. During the slide show, just as plain as day popped up a picture of my Dad, Mom, and Jace from grandparents day. When the slide popped up, many of the students clapped. Do you think I didn't have a bout of 'allergies' suddently springing into my eyes? Where's the Benadryl when you need it, right?
Dad had his little crooked smile from having so much tissue removed from his neck but as miserable as he must have felt he was grinning from ear to ear and proud to be there with Jace. Dad didn't miss ANY of the Grandparents Days that are always in September. He went just this last September before he died in November. Remember this post? I am so going to try and obtain that picture from the slideshow! It was so sweet, and later I realized that same picture is in the school yearbook.
After graduation and all the kids had their certificates advancing them to the next grade, Jace came to me and said, "Mom, I cried..." I grabbed him and squeezed him as hard as I could. That's exactly what Dad would have done.
Shane, my somber 14 year-old that refuses to talk about my Dad most of the time because he can't deal with the grief, is doing better with his emotions. We were recently out at the 'shack' and Shane asked me if he thought his Pawpaw would have liked it there. I assured him that he would have. Shane had an expression of sadness but peace at the same time washing over his face. He knew exactly what his Pawpaw would have liked.
I miss Dad. But that's ok, I'm sure I'm not the only one...