Thursday, April 9, 2015
I wish you could have known him.
My father was born to a farmer.
He was produce buyer, garden center owner,
nurseryman, and gardener.
The youngest of 7 children,
he helped his mother in her vegetable & flower garden
while his older brothers worked on the farm.
Daddy survived cancer for 16 years,
coping with the effects of the radiation
that saved his life but stole much of his
ability to speak clearly.
Through it all he worked, and then
came home and worked in his garden.
He even began a new job in his 70s.
He contracted for fields of red cabbage,
red cabbage for a natural red food coloring
for the Japanese market.
You know the red food coloring we use here
when we make Red Velvet Cake?
It's not very good for you.
Not long ago I found Daddy's business card
from his red cabbage days.
I turned it over and found this:
"Job in workplace is a challenge.
This is a challenge to me.
Care for Dewena."
Dewena is my mother;
I was named for her.
This message from my father explained much.
Beauty was important to him,
caring for his wife was important to him.
He was determined to survive.
He saw it all as a challenge.
Daddy left us for his heavenly home 14 years ago.
We miss him so much,
but he's now with his beloved Mama and Papa,
and his sisters and brothers.
Winnie, Arthur, Etta,
Leon and Devon, Roy,
They were all extraordinary.
I wish you could have known them.