Planting flowers at our dad's (and now our mother's as well) gravesite. Dee, my brother Adonis, and myself.
Our annual ritual.
Bitter cold that Sunday. There was hail that day, and rain. The wind whipped our bare hands as my brother and son dug and watered and planted, and I stood supervising and taking the odd photograph. Those are my specialties. That, and drinking consecutive mojitos and eating an entire supersized bag of Cheetos in one hour.
It is our first year planting flowers for our mother as well. She passed away in March. And although our parents separated way back in 1972, my father paid for a spot for my mother next to him, to make sure she had somewhere to go and that she'd be taken care of.
My brothers and I are now orphans. And, when I really think about it, I am very sad, and don't really believe it yet. So, I try not to think about it too much. It's easier that way.
I still haven't really processed my mother's very recent death. And I am still trying to accept my dad's. Not sure if I ever will.
My dad always asked my kids and I to come help him plant geraniums at his house every spring. And that ritual continues to this day. Same flower, same time, different place, different reasons.
We also transplanted a gorgeous peony bush from his home after he passed away, replanting it at the gravesite. It looked worse than dead when my brother first put it in the ground. But we held on to hope, and waited until the next spring.
And before our eyes, a miracle happened. The bush grew, green sprouts shooting out from the dead wood, and on those new, green branches popped out a million peony buds. It was amazing.
I went back just the other day to check on the flowers we had just planted, to water them, and to see if the peonies were in bloom yet. They weren't, but they're about to.
As I was bringing the water can back to the spout to hang it for the next person, I rubbed my eye, and my contact lens fell out. Gone. Just like that. Freaking out, because I am there alone, and cannot for the life of me see a thing with only one lens in, I start hyperventilating because the thoughts start rushing through my tiny brain. Thoughts like: 'How the hell am I going to drive back home with only one seeing eyeball?' and 'Holy shit! I just got these lenses a couple of months ago, and they cost a lot of money,' to 'There is no way in hell I am going to find this goddammed bastard piece of crap lens that keeps falling out of my eye at the slightest movement in all this godforsaken grass.' Yes, I thought that, exactly that. And I started to panic again, but I calmed myself. And just as I was about to give up, I remained in the crouch position for a moment longer, and like the Ninja I am, I gazed down with my left eye (the right eye being no good to me at all), and lo and behold! there was my contact lens, tiny and transparent, sitting lightly on a blade of grass.
Tell me my dad didn't have something to do with that.