Friday, April 28, 2017

Empty Garden

No one gets through life unscathed.

You live long enough and you're going to be left here to miss the hell out of someone you love.

It's the least fun thing about being alive, right?

What really sucks about it is when you're caught off-guard and there's something to remind you of that beloved person.

And you stop what you're doing and say, "Man. That sucks."

It happens way too many times with Jeff. Every baseball game, Bruce song, perfectly made dinner...

...just way too many things.

But yesterday, it was my Dad's memory that caught me.

I caught an Elton John song from years gone by...

...a song actually written for John Lennon.

Empty Garden.

Elton was crooning about the Empty Garden and saying "Hey, hey, Johnny."

And I thought of Dad.

John.

I thought of the years gone by and the hours spent in the garden.

Jim threw a rock that dropped Dad to his knees as he tilled the ground. We all ran as fast as we could, thinking we'd all catch hell for the accidental toss that met Dad's forehead.

He actually laughed.

I thought of him standing above me as I planted the peppers.

"They're too close!"

Years and years.

Elton singing about the garden being empty.

The grass has grown over the piece of land at Mom's house...

...the garden is gone.

I was dwelling on that for a couple of days when my phone pinged.

"Took the day off school to plant the garden," Johnny (my nephew texted to me and my brother John). "Peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers!"

So.

The Garden isn't empty.

But, man, the "Hey, hey, Johnny, won't you come out and play."

Yeah.

That hurt for awhile.

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Heather Heyer

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