John’s Memorial Garden

On the day Eli asked me to draft John’s obituary it was Sunday about 8am. I threw myself into writing it, which took a few hours. By the time I realized it was noon already I was late to pick up some snapdragons I had arranged to buy from a woman in Oshawa.

I pulled into her drive way about 3 hours later than she was expecting me. She was quite flustered because she had promised to be somewhere else at 2pm, and waiting for me made her late leaving. I was afraid she was going to be angry and dump all over me; you never know, when you meet people online, what they might be like in person. You take a risk, meeting them in person.

“I am so sorry!” I blurted out. “My good friend died suddenly, and his partner asked me to write his obituary. I got so caught up, I was late leaving home. I am so sorry.”

The woman was immediately distressed for me, and so kind: “Oh! I am so sorry you lost your friend! Don’t worry about it!” She had WAAAAAY more snapdragons than I was expecting, a big box full of them in really good, dark, heavy soil. The real garden kind of dirt, not the store-bought potted plant kind.

“I just dug these up now,” she told me, “when I saw you pull in. They will grow back every year. But don’t move them right away,” she advised. “They are disturbed right now. Let them rest a day or two before you move them again. Plant them for your friend.”

I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out this “new” world we live in now…I don’t think John or Rob would be putting up with it for a minute. I need a “WWJ&R do?” bracelet, I think.

I let them “rest” a few days before re-planting them, and they have been growing like gangbusters ever since. I liked having a little corner of my garden dedicated to John, so I painted a rock with a “J” on it. Then I decided the corner needed a crucifix – or two – and a lantern, and then a bench. And some more rocks to remind me of other people we have lost, and also, my mother’s Madonna statue.

So, the corner of my yard has become a little memorial garden. It started with John but grew as summer progressed.

It has been a such disturbing year. It’s nice to have a little place to rest, and see that things are still growing, as God intended.