My One Special Guy

This morning I watered this year’s pitiful excuse for a garden and, as is often the case, I watered in silence as the kids played inside. Silence. It makes me think of Frank Costanza screaming, “SERENITY NOW!”

Actually, I do my best thinking when I’m watering the plants. There is something about the trickling water and the morning sun warming my skin that always brings me back to my first special guy. He watered his garden in the morning, letting me spray the tomatoes and play in the water that dripped from the hose. He rarely scolded and often chuckled. He taught me to make homemade pasta, how to fish, and eat an entire bag of cherries in one sitting. He taught me how to say “bicycle” in Italian. He taught me to sit quietly with my own thoughts. From him I learned the fine art of comfortable silence. He taught me how to laugh. He was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of person, who you longed to be around for no real reason except that he was good. He taught me so much about life and I never said thank you.

Uncle Joe, kneeling with baseball bat

All summer, I’ve continued watering the sad, fruitless plants in the gardens, despite the fact that they have yet to produce a single thing. Uncle Joe was with me as I watered the gardens today. As I fell into into my serene, thoughtful chore he entered my thoughts. I miss him.

I moved the hose to the children’s garden that we started earlier in the summer, and began watering the (bean-less) bean plants that are slowly crawling up the tee-pee. I laughed to myself as I recalled one of the rhymes Uncle Joe taught us as children. Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more… And there they were. Beans. Yes, he was there with me. I hope that he heard me say thank you.

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