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,

and Howard.

They were all extraordinary.

I wish you could have known them.


  1. Reading that card must have been bittersweet Dewena, but what a find that was! How nice that your memories of your father remain vivid and powerful in their emotions. I'm sure he was a wonderful man.

  2. Dewena, what a nice post remembering your father. That message on the back of his card must be very special to you. My dad left this world over 20 years ago too. Our fathers are always with us, Dewena. I love these pictures of the sun shining through the windows.

    love, ~Sheri

  3. Lovely post, Dewena! I wish I could've known them, too. Your dad sounds like a lovely man.

  4. The back of that card is so very touching. Beautify, survive, and care for Dewena. Just beautiful. You just know that was what kept him going. A special remembrance for a special man.

  5. oh dewena.
    such a precious personal message on that card.
    straight from his heart. oh my.
    its simplicity in itself makes us know him. simplicity and honest emotion.
    and a love of beauty. and his love of your mother. what a legacy.
    and that he even took on the red cabbage in his 70's. what a wonderful man!

  6. Dewena, what a precious treasure you came across in your own home, your sweet daddy's handwritten wish, and one I'm sure he fulfilled to his best ability. Your father lives in your heart, one's home for all those beloved people who are part of their life, their very being.

    Yes, I wish I could have known him and all his siblings, but I have 'met' his amazing daughter, who, in turn, beautifies the life of all who are blessed to know her, something I'm sure she got from her daddy.

    A very touching tribute to your beloved father, thank you, my friend, for sharing some of the things that characterized his truth.


  7. There is something so very powerful and very touching in your father's handwritten mission statement. You come from good stock, dear lady. Your images and words are a beautiful tribute to those who came before you. Through your words, we do know them just a bit. Thank you. It was a pleasure. blessings ~ tanna

  8. Isn't it funny how little bits of paper and handwriting left behind by a loved one can be more precious than gold?

  9. What a touching tribute, Dewena. And to find that little note, must feel like a blessing from the sky.

  10. Dewena,
    Thank you for sharing this with us-I have found handwritten notes on scraps of yellowed envelopes from both of my parents as well. When we find these snippets I feel as though it is a direct gift from them, even though they are not physically with us, they continue to be part of our lives.
    With love,

  11. What a priceless glimpse into a father's heart.

    It helps the ache of absence, doesn't it, when you possess the sure hope that you will see him again one day?

  12. Oh that card. What a beautiful find!!!!!! It tugs at the heart strings, and give one goose bumps. So beautiful...

    Wonderful, that you have this tangible reminder, of the father, who was so loved. Not necessary to have a tangible reminder. But lovely to, just the same.

    Gentle hugs,

  13. Wow.


    Gone a decade, and most still here will never desire, or know to want, his goals in life.

    Another person to look forward to meeting. Your dad. Glad to know him thru you until then.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  14. Okay, now you have me crying. Such a sweet man your Dad was. So caring. I know you must miss him terribly. But, what memories!!

  15. I've got chills reading this, Dewena! It's beautiful. Thanks for letting us get to know your dad in this very small way. You were meant to find that card some day!

  16. Oh, how very special, Dewena. I wish I would have known him too. How we love our daddy's. Mine left this world 11 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him.
    Wish we could sit in that secret garden and exchange memories.

    PS-Enjoy the weekend with your chickadees. :)

  17. I wish I could have known them too. Your father sounds like an extraordinary, beautiful person. You're very lucky, which I'm sure you know :)

    Like Amy, I got chills reading this too.


  18. Such a sweet tribute post! Your Dad sounds like such a wonderful man!

  19. A lovely tribute, Dewena. I am so glad that you found that card.

  20. Oh but I do know these people, Dewena...just by different names. -sweet smile- These are "my" people as well...those hard working folks who lived their lives quietly, loving God, country, family, helping others however they could, paying their bills, keeping their vehicles and homes in good condition.
    Your Daddy's card is priceless; would have it framed. Dave always told me "it's my job to provide for you/our little family and to protect you all" and I'd reply, "and it's my job to take care of you."
    Yours is a wonderful, wonderful tribute and post!