Growing up one thing that was constant in my life was my Father’s love of gardening. If anyone ever had a green thumb, it was him. He could take a small plot of barren dirt and grow more vegetables than most people with three times as much land.
Not only were the vegetables plentiful but the taste was always spectacular.
I remember him saving and drying the seeds from year to year whenever he had a particularly good crop.
The neighbors were always stopping by to say "Hello" but they all knew they would leave with a sack full of peppers, beans, okra, tomatoes and such. I think he was more proud of helping his neighbors than anything else he did in life.
I often wondered if the reason for his love of gardening was because of his love of his neighbors as well as his love for fresh vegetables.
The morning after my wedding my father had a massive heart attack and wasn’t expected to live, but he did. He missed his gardening that year but the next spring found him preparing the ground for planting. As an ignorant youngster I asked him why he worked so hard when he would just give most of what he made away.
His answer still plays a big role in my life today. He said, "The good things you do for others come back to you in so many ways. I know that many of them prayed for me and that is why the Lord decided that my job on earth wasn’t finished.
When I was so sick, there wasn’t a day that went by that someone didn’t stop in to bring me a little something or help around the place for a few minutes. Even with family help I’m not sure I would have made it through that year without my friends and neighbors."
Seven years later the heart finally played out for my Dad. He had started his garden and the neighbors took turns coming and working it until the crops were all made. They told me they just had to do it to honor this man, gardener and friend.
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