Sunday, June 19, 2016

gardening with my father

Dad and Mary Jane in front of their home, late May 2016.

Here is my dad and my stepmother, Mary Jane.

When my dad had open heart surgery in February I went to see him and spent five nights with him. In late May I was able to visit again for two nights, this time with Heather and the kids, too.

Because of his surgery, he has not been able to do all the things he usually does. He loves caring for the yard and it is hard on him that he is not able to do it as much as he would like these days. You can see just one shot of the lovely flowers and plants they enjoy.

On the Sunday of our most recent visit, I had the privilege of taking care of some yard work he’d been wanting to do. I put away the snow blower for the season, something he hadn’t been able to do yet. I put out a table and chairs on the front porch and brought out another chair for the back porch.  He and Mary enjoy sitting outside when the weather is agreeable.

I pruned a large flowering bush on the side of his house and fixed some edging around two of the trees in the parkway. I topped off the soil around the trees and edging, and spread some new mulch throughout the garden.

I also helped him fill up the water softener with more salt pellets and installed a new smoke alarm he purchased. He loves caring for his home and I loved caring for it with him.

It was a good day’s work that felt like play because we did it together. There are few times in my life that I have felt closer to my dad than that day just under a month ago. I loved working alongside him, sharing life together that way.

The morning after our workday, he brought out his high school yearbooks. I could gather from all the notes his friends wrote him that he was quite a jokester. His friends commented on his singing voice and I enjoyed hearing him reminisce about those younger years.

He showed me his class ring…a classic design. He graduated in 1955.

He gave it to me as a gift and I will cherish it always.

I love my Dad and did not want to leave that Monday morning. So, this is my prayer today: Father God, thank you for the blessing of being his son.   

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