A friend mentioned that he has no idea what it feels like to have a father. This is a sad statement but prompted me to write down this real story about a love that I had seen as a child.
My grandparents had a special love surrounded by a bounty of fruit trees and always flowers, dahlias, roses and red hot pokers. In their older retirement years their garden was to be admired. The fruit orchard was open sesame for the grandkids, and we could eat as much as what our bellies could hold, excepting when grandma’s birthday approached.
At some time in the days before her birthday we were shown a very special peach, the most beautiful one in the whole peach orchard, just perfect and timed to be optimum ripe on my grandmother’s birthday. That peach was watched carefully, leaves gently draped over it so that it was a little hidden and all the grandkids knew .. even approaching that peach would probably send one on a fast ride to a bad place. It was holy. We did not dare even to approach the tree.
Early morning on my grandmother’s birthday, grandpa carefully picked this peach, a few leaves still on it, oh so gently without disturbing the morning dew glistening on the beautiful fruit. Carefully he would put it on one of the special plates, with a knife and that is what my grandmother woke up to on her birthday. A cup of tea and a piece of pure perfection, intensely nurtured and presented with a very special love.
The joy and returned love created a beautiful shine on her older face as she smiled and said: ‘sweetheart’. The bunch of trailing grandkids in the background watching this wonderful moment faded away, but these moments have not faded for me. They can never leave my consciousness.
So, for my friend, this is what fathers do, and what they are and the legacy that they leave. You may have this story as your very own.