It has been almost five months since G.’s dad died. I find myself thinking about him a lot as we prepare this year’s garden. The other day, I was moving the tomato seedlings into bigger containers, and his absence hit me again. He really liked cherry tomatoes. He’d snack on them like chips or candy. Even after he moved into the assisted living home and was rejecting other foods, he’d eat the cherry tomatoes G. took over.
For the past two years, we’ve planted a couple of red cherry tomato plants because everyone liked them except G. He doesn’t like raw tomatoes in any form. But this year, only G.’s mom and I will be eating them — along with any friends I can foist the excess off on. I’ll probably just plant one red cherry tomato bush and one black cherry for kicks. My other seedlings will go to friends who are starting their own garden. Unlike G.’s dad, his mom tires of cherry tomatoes. His dad could eat them endlessly. It makes me sad that there won’t be anyone to share my joy in them like he did.
It must be worse for G. His dad mowed his lawn and burned the brush after they cut down trees. Now G. is doing all that work himself, and I know it reminds him of his dad. Maybe next year will be easier. Everything won’t be the first time we’ve done it without G.’s dad there.
The other day, G. and I were planting more root vegetables, and I went into the house to get the seeds. As I came out the back door, I saw Biggie B. sitting in the spot where G.’s dad often sat in a lawn chair, with little Biggie B. right next to him. G. and I talk often about how we wish we had taken a picture of them. It’s how I envision G.’s dad whenever I think of him. But the sight was so common. We saw it every day. It never occurred to us to take a picture until it was too late.
I went back inside and grabbed the camera and took Biggie B.’s picture. He’s getting older too, and I don’t want any more regrets.