December 1, 2021
Reflections, Day 51
“Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair”—J.R.R. Tolkien
She loved the garden no matter where she lived, what the circumstances were, or how old she was, there was always something growing in her vicinity.
One day, a few years ago, Dekie and I were visiting Mom in Tennessee. We liked to sit on the patio and look out over the lake as we talked. There was a garden ornament on a three foot stake stuck in one of the flower pots. Dekie smiled at Mom, pointed at the ornament and said, “That’s way cool.”
Mom smiled and said, “Well, I always thought it was tacky and I never did like it. Why don’t you do me a favor and put it in your car so I don’t have to look at it anymore.”
So Dekie brought it home and put it in the flower bed near the patio. I didn’t really pay much attention…
Until that evening when I asked, “What’s that shining out there?”
And my wife said, “That’s the garden ornament that your mother gave us.”
I grinned and said, “Hi, Mom.” And then almost every evening after that, I would say, “Hi, Mom.” It became a ritual.—stepping up to look out the back door and saying, “Hi, Mom.”
A huge limb fell on the ornament one time. It broke the glass ornament part, but the light shone on. A bright white, nestled in the plants. Then one day last summer we looked out and I told Dekie that Mom had gone on a vacation.
The other day at Home Depot, my wife stopped walking and whispered, “John.”
I turned, “What?”
“She’s calling your name.”
“Your mom. Look, she’s back from vacation.”
And there it was, a pretty, solar powered garden light. I checked the price—9.95.
What’s a guy to do?
And last night she was back
Placed carefully in the garden after much deliberation.
Last night I looked out the back door and said,
She’s wearing her new blue dress that she got on one of her vacation stops.
Jane Slickman has a light in her yard that comes on at dark and visits until midnight.
That light’s name is “George.”
Remembrance keeps them alive.