Saturday, April 23, 2011

The House My Father Built

My father died quickly and quietly in his sleep last night. This wasn't supposed to happen yet. Every thing stops and you can't sit still. The processes of death come at you fast like a speeding train.

He leaves us when the mountain top garden where he built his own beloved home is greeting a new season in all the splendor a temperate climate and the hands of two passionate gardeners can muster.



One last spring he sat on the deck and looked out at things he planted bring beauty to his life.



The shock will wear off. It is the adjustments that lay ahead that are sure to bring new tears.



We will go to Florida where he was born, then return to a North Carolina mountain top and the house my father built, to the garden he planted, to heal and to be thankful for the life he led.



One final act of love and kindness, at times well hidden, but what was at the core of his soul and who he really was as a person, is a cozy little cabin high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. My father welcomed the prodigal son home and built a house for him so they could be close to each other. The building contractor got one more project done before it was time to go.



We will we stroll his garden, Bonnie Brae and remember him. The sign he finally got to hang at the entry will remind us too of his mother and father and the line of gardeners from which he descended.



It is a beautiful time of year and a beautiful place, high on a mountain top, for a soul to leave this mortal coil. The dogwoods put on their best showing in years just for him. Thank you for being with us for so many good years, they say.

29 comments:

Laurrie said...

How very sad and how very beautiful. My sympathy goes out to you, and my admiration too, for the mountain homes you and your dad both created and for what you were both able to share.

Layanee said...

I am sending you a hug right now. I am so sorry. You have a wonderful place to remember your Dear Dad.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Christopher, that was a beautiful tribute to your dad. I am holding you and your mom in my heart. May the caring words and actions of friends and family comfort and uplift you on your grief journey.

Gail said...

Dear Christopher, I am so sorry to hear about your father. What a wonderful and loving adventure you've had with him and your mother these past years building the Cozy Cabin and tending the mountain garden. Please know my thoughts are with you and your family. xogail

Anonymous said...

Chris, I am so sorry to hear about this. I lost my mom on March 22. This road is more difficult to walk than I thought it would be. I will be thinking about you and all your family and praying for strength for each of you.
Sallysmom

Larry said...

It's at times like this that we realize how short life can be and we give thanks to have been given a blessing by our parents that will live on through our own time here on earth. I've lost both of my parents and I'm now the oldest in my family and I frequently think about the legacy I will have left behind for my children and grandchildren... may you be blessed in the coming days, overflowing with fond memories of your father and the time spent together and the love he held for you... sincerely, L

Mel said...

I am very sorry for your loss. You wrote a fine tribute to you father, who must have been quite a man. His legacy lives on in much more than his home and garden, but in yours as well. I know how the ground must be shifting beneath your feet right now, and hope you find comfort in the memories of your father, the beauty in your gardens and the hugs of those who loved him too.

David - Pinewood Cottage said...

so sorry for your loss - i lost my dad 10 years ago. even though they are sick, it still comes as a surprise. you will get through it- but you'll be different, you'll be changed in some way.

Christopher C. NC said...

Thank you all for the kind thoughts. Right now my number one job is to stay close to my mother's side. After fifty six years together and a very settled routine, a sudden change like this may involve a few bumps in the road.

I am supposed to be here and someone made sure it would happen.

Annie in Austin said...

No words, just thoughts and a hug from Texas. So sad for you and Bulbarella.

Annie

Lola said...

Oh Christopher, my heart goes out to you & your family. You all have my prayers.
Yes, that special one made sure that you were where you were supposed to be. Sharing the love of a special place that your dad loved so well & that you have made your home. I know he was happy that he had this time with you showing his love for his son.
Have a safe journey my friend. Memories are so nice to have of our loved ones. I know.

Siria said...

Oh Christopher, I am so very sorry to hear about your Dad. I can only imagine what a shock for you, your Mom and all your family, but be thankful he died peacefully in his sleep and didn't go through a long illness. These past few years have been a special time for both of you as you shared the building of your new home, next door to the home your father built.

We'll always remember the first time we met him when he took us for a tour of the garden. He was a very special man and his memory will live on in your heart and on your mountain top. Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Big hugs coming your way! <3
Tom and Siria

Cheryl said...

I similarly lost my mother after what seemed like a curable bout of illness that took a sudden and very quick turn for the worse. The first year was hard, and the sadness was overwhelming at times. But I can say that after a year, it is far better. Thinking of her now is very comforting - sometimes makes me smile inside and out - instead of just a reminder of the loss. Peace.

sweetbay said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. It sounds like he left things the way he would have wanted.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Dear Christopher, What a shock. I am so very sorry to hear this. You have my deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and Mom. Big Hugs, Lisa.

Fairegarden said...

Dear dear Christopher and Bulbarella, I am so sorry for your loss of this wonderful gardener, father, husband and friend. He created the most beautiful of places and did get to enjoy them to the fullest with a long life. That he managed to stay around to see the finishing of your cozy cabin seems preordained. You are in my thoughts...

Frances

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Beautifully written Christopher. I am so sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for your mother and the rest of your family. You are descended from such fine gardeners.~~Dee

Leslie said...

I am so very sorry...the loss of a parent is a difficult road to travel. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and hoping the coming weeks bring some peace.

Wondering Woman said...

So sorry to read about your dad. You're lucky to have spent these last few years close by and now your cozy cabin is finished just in time to be there for your mom. I know it's hard for both of you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog almost daily for such a long time. Checked in today, sure that I would see your father was back on the mountain. What a shock. My heart aches for you and your mother. You are correct that somebody made sure you are where you are right now. Who would have ever thought? I'm so sorry.
leah

deb17 said...

Oh Christopher,

My heart goes out to you, your Mom and all of your family. What a wonderful eulogy you wrote for such a fine father and husband. May the memories of his life strengthen you all.

deb

Carol said...

Christopher, I'm also in shock with your sad news and send thoughts and prayers for you and your mother during these first few days and the many days and months to follow. May you find peace on the mountain, amongst the gardens and flowers your father loved and your mother loves, too.

Take care of yourself!

Carol

lh said...

I am so terribly sorry to learn of your loss. Words fail me, but the fates must have been with you -- to bring you back to the mainland to spend hours working with your father. So glad he got to see the completion of your project. Know that every grieving is different. Every grieving takes a long time. Remember the good times and take good care of yourself and your family. Thank you so much for the gift of your writing.
Lois

Pam/Digging said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Christopher. What a moving tribute you wrote for him.

Phrago said...

Dear Chris, I am so sorry to read this. I hope you find some comfort in the beautiful landscape your father and mother built, a place where their spirits will both be together, for a very long time. Take care of yourself and your mother. Wishing you the best in this sad time... Patrick

Chris F said...

Christopher,

This is a few days late, but I just checked in to catch up on your blog. I'm sad to hear about your loss. Your dad created a beautiful garden and had a good son.

Take Care.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am one of the nurses at Mission who helped take care of him during his hospitalization. He was a delightful man and we spoke about gardening every time I went into his room! He spoke with such pride about you, the garden and his home. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm sorry about your dad. He sounds like he was a very special person. I hope you will find comfort in the garden he loved and the plants that inspired him.

Les said...

I am so sorry for you and your family, the loss much be unimaginable. I wish I had some words of encouragement, but I don't. I would recommend time in the garden, but knowing you, that advice would be unecessary.