Family Roots

The better part of the last week has been spent with my dad in the hospital.  I’ve also spent time with mom — checking on things — walking the dog.

Walking the dog in the yard, I can remember what the yard used to look like.  On this day, only the crisp smell of Fall air and the crackle of fallen leaves are unchanged.   I instinctively remember the soft carpet of zoysia grass — carefully spread by my dad through meticulous plugs over several Springs.

I remember the two Christmas pine trees which had spread together creating a little arbor cave — a place with an iron garden set — a place where I, then a High School Senior, contemplated my future.  The  pine trees succumbed to beetle disease several years ago and are gone.

The concrete walkway and circle where I rode my tricycle — crumbled in many spots — the yard now eroding away from the edge and exposing the depth of concrete.

There is the giant oak tree that my mother warned against planting — it will get too big.  It has indeed gotten too big.  It is so large that its roots have taken all the life out of the carpet of grass — all the life out of the yard.  There is no more grass at all on most of this side of our yard.  The grass and soil erode and expose gnarly roots — like the aged wrinkles of aged skin.  The roots exposed like the years of family hurts — disappointments — despair — sadness.

I close my eyes and breath in the familiar smell of Fall — I hear the crackle of leaves under my feet — I remember my laughter in the piles of raked leaves

and then I open my eyes again

I pray


Roots exposed

Oak Tree in my childhood yard -- eroding roots


2 thoughts on “Family Roots

  1. It’s like a double whammy of nostalgia, the holiday season and the illness of a parent. Both make us think back to the way things were. And they almost always seem better.

    Few us remember the past as always bad. Our mind shuts out those things. And the good sustains us, for today, and tomorrow. Our past is what made us; our future is what we make ourselves. If we have Hope, if we include God in that future, I’ve found that it arrives to create new good memories — even more than in the past.

    I wish you many more good memories, and blessings

  2. I hope all goes well with your father. I lost my dad earlier this year after spending many a day in the hospital with him, so I sympathize with what you are experiencing. I pray that his illness is not like my dad’s. I’ll keep you – and your parents – in my prayers.

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