As we get ready for Father’s Day weekend, you are invited to write a sentence or a few sentences to or in memory of your father and/or any father figures you hold dear. By 4:00 p.m., Eastern U.S., Wednesday, June 12th, please send me a comment with “Father’s Day” in the subject line. You are welcome to send several sentences, one set per cherished father person in your life.
Email to email@example.com.
By Saturday morning, June 15th, your precious words will appear in a special Father’s Day post in this blog.
If you want to be inspired by the messages folks shared for Mother’s Day last month, take a look at the Mother’s Day weekend post.
In 1959, Granddaddy Kidwell died in his sleep. At eighty-one years, he apparently had a sudden stroke. He was a beloved figure in our family and in his neighborhood in Westernport, Maryland. He left behind some very sad people, including his four daughters and sons-in-law, seven grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters. At the age of thirty-eight, my mother, Frances, was his youngest child. As I gaze back at her these fifty-four years later, I recognize her heart was truly broken from losing her adored father.
Some weeks after the funeral service, a dear friend of my mother’s came to visit her at our home in Northern Virginia. The two women became best friends as three-year-olds when the Kidwells moved next door to the Carr family. Growing up, June gave Frances the nickname of Kits. In 1941, June was Kits’ bridesmaid. Eighteen years later, she brought a lovely bleeding heart plant when she came to call. June said bleeding hearts always put her in mind of Mr. Kidwell. Whenever he and his family moved, he made sure to plant these flowers in the yard.
Fran was touched by June’s gift. She lovingly planted the bleeding hearts in a favorite spot. Every spring, she looked forward to the arrival of its blooms. In 1988, she and my father transplanted that very same plant in their new yard when they moved more than a hundred miles south.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered I was reminded of my sweet grandfather whenever I saw the heart shaped blossoms. Several years ago, I bought three bleeding heart plants. I gave one to my sister, one to my mother’s one remaining sister, and the third went into my then tiny back yard. All three were in memory of George Kidwell and Frances Kidwell Clayton. Aunt Malverda’s plant is thriving, I enjoyed seeing it on Mother’s Day last month. Neva’s plant became huge – she seems to have some sort of magical soil or maybe it is her plant (and animal) magnetism. I no longer live where my tiny plant is. My sister gave me a portion of hers this spring. I placed it at the edge of the woods, across from my father’s front porch.
Recently, my friend, Maggie, and I were talking on the phone. We were reminiscing about the bleeding hearts, since she and her husband, Ed, were our next-door-neighbors during much of my childhood. She not only knew the significance of this plant to our family, she remembered Mother giving one to them.
Maggie’s sister died only a few months ago. Already, Maggie had arranged for a beautiful yellow rose bush to be planted in her Florida yard as a remembrance of her sister.
Plants and trees are a wondeful way to remember our dear ones in spirit.
Do certain blossoms bring to mind special people in your life?
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