today i am so happy to celebrate you and what you mean to me! i was sure to venture out among the roses today and inhale deeply of the ones that are just like the bushes you had planted by your shed.
you were always outside puttering in the yard...weeding, planting, mowing, building, painting. so many of my childhood memories were of times by your side. you didn't talk about earth-shattering things - you told me what the redwing blackbird song is, how to harvest the perfect radish, what seeds attract what birds, what type of birdhouse a jenny wren will nest in. and today i carry all of it in my heart. every redwing i hear now is your voice letting me know that all is well!
you taught me about perseverence and patience while working in your yard. i remember when i was still rather young, how thrilled you were when you brought a mimosa tree home and planted it in the perfect spot - a very regal spot in the middle of the yard. i fell in love with that tree - it was unlike any other tree in our state. its leaves seemed so very tropical in my childish perception. it was my favorite spot in our whole yard.
i know how very hard your nurtured your tree each and every season. sometimes the huge branches were reduced to a simple sprout at the base of its trunk after a particularly hard winter. but back it came! and you were thrilled. each year you hoped for those airy pink blossoms on your tree. very few came. you knew it pushed the very limits of the climate planting zone, but you had faith!
when D. & i married and bought our own home, you happily potted whatever stray mimosa baby you found in your yard, the offspring of your magnificent tree. they just would not survive the transplanting. and so we continued to visit and enjoy your tree!
the third Christmas after you and Mom were gone, D. and our very sweet neighbors placed two potted, scraggly sticks under our Christmas tree for me...but the tag said "from Mom & Pop". oh, yes, i sure did know just what types of "sticks" those dormant trees were - Mimosas! Daddy, i sure hope you are able to enjoy them now. on this very Father's Day they are HUGE, opulent show-offs in our front yard...in full, glorious bloom! it is my joy to stand under them watching their airy leaves wave in the breeze, just as i did under your tree when i was a little girl. i think of you and all you were, and still are, to me.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!