Ten years ago I gave my Dad three yellow rose bushes.
I’d gotten a little carried away in the rose department at the Nursery!!! There were about 40 roses in a formal garden and dotted throughout the other flowerbeds when I realized I still had those three yellow roses in the bed of the truck. So I drove over to see if Dad could give them a good home in a sunny corner of his yard.
He had never been into gardening until he retired. But in the last ten years of his life he grew green thumbs. He waged war against our yucky clay soil by hauling bags of compost home and spreading layer after layer around the flowerbeds. He planted tomatoes every year and kept fighting with my Mom about her geraniums and her ‘White Garden’. He loved to liberally spray weed killer, but cursed when the nearby plants turned yellow or the edges of the lawn turned brown. We could never convince him that he might be doing the damage himself. The joy he got from gardening and from eating a BLT made with his very own homegrown tomatoes was obvious to us all.
We miss him every day.
When I drop by to see my Mom there is often a bouquet of those yellow roses on the table. They bloom their heads off about 9 months of the year.
Those roses make me think of my Dad. Of the good man he was, the good husband, father, and friend he was. And of how what we give can come back to us a hundred fold in ways we never expect. The day I took those roses to Dad I just wanted to not have to dig 3 more holes in this clay soil. But over the years when I’d stop by he’d say, “You oughta see those roses.” We’d amble out to the sunny west side where those yellow roses lived opposite the tomatoes climbing up their wire frames.
Those roses made memories for me.
Memories of time spent with him talking about pruning and fertilizer, and of insects and weeds. Everyday talks of little consequence until you don’t have them any longer. When I bury my face in a big wide open yellow blossom I remember my Dad. The value of those roses back then was about $45.00.
The memories are priceless.