While there is little more to write about these days, it may be time to close the book (or maybe write the book?) on this very personal blog.
I had some weepy times when I was first in Italy. Likely recalling how excited my mom was for us to go, and how I talked to my dad one day while sitting in a bar on the Mediterranean. And maybe by being so close to our ancestral homeland, just not close enough.
In the past week, we had a tree planted for my dad, at the VA home. My dad loved grass. He loved trees, flowers, shrubs, anything outdoors. We were brokenhearted for him for so many reasons — the loss of mobility, the inability to ever eat/drink again, the loss of our mom/his wife, the loss of his home, his car, his pets. But also the loss of his independence – to work in his yard non-stop, rain or shine, morning to evening. Re-arranging stone walkways, moving shrubs to better light…he could not stop. I thought he would be saddened ever more by not having the ability to work in his yard, or to even comment on the neighbors who would just never live up to his standard of lawn care!
Even so, he took great pleasure in watching the people at the VA home take care of this huge property, cutting the lawn to the lengths my dad thought appropriate, watching them drive back and forth on their riding mowers. He reveled in it. He sometimes would call me from his cell phone while outside watching – and hold the phone so that ‘I could hear them cutting the grass, and would ask me if I could smell the fresh-cut grass!’ He loved the trees there. We had flowerpots for him to take care of as he could. Some guys had their own tomato plants in big pots to get their own little treats when they wanted; offering some to my dad, who would sadly have to turn them down. Nothing like a garden fresh tomato taste!
So, now there is a tree. In what ‘was’ his view from what he called ‘his’ back yard, ‘his’ porch. His personally picked and personalized tree is now planted:
Will one day look like this:
He’d love it.