Monday, April 07, 2008

Grandpa Gethers

Delmar Gethers loved his garden. For years he had a garden that would put other gardeners to shame. It would put others to shame except for that fact that even more than he loved gardening, Delmar loved sharing the fruits (and vegetables!) of his labors with everyone. And he shared and shared.
Sharing was a big part of Delmar’s life. After losing his wife, his “Babe,” of 59 years, many expected him to fade quickly thereafter. Their love was just one of those you hear of where when one goes and the other is soon to follow. But somehow Delmar carried on. He fondly spoke of his “Babe” and how he would be ready to meet her again whenever the good Lord decided it was his time.
He continued on, keeping up his house, his garden, his life. He mowed the grass throughout his eighties and tended that garden in the spring and summer, even shoveling snow in the winter. When he was asked how he was, he would always cheerfully answer, “I can’t complain. No one wants to hear complaints, anyhow.”
And he never did complain either.
The closest he ever got to admitting aging wasn’t a walk in the park was when he once admitted, at the age of 93, “Compared to the eighties, these nineties are a whole new ballgame.”
One might conclude that his gardening know-how taught him what he needed to know in order to age so gracefully.
From his garden he learned, you have to plan ahead. If you are expecting something good today, you better have planted the necessary seeds early enough.
From his garden he learned, it takes a lot of hard work. It’s never easy, but it’s always worth it.
From his garden he learned, things don’t always go the way you intended. Sometimes, no matter how well you planned and tended your garden, the other elements affect the outcome more than you wanted.
From his garden he learned, patience. You really do reap what you sow.
From his garden he learned, you need to enjoy what you have today.
And Delmar Gethers did just that.
This morning, the good Lord decided it was his time.
So at the age of 94, he is once again united with his “Babe”.
We couldn’t be happier for him.
The tears we shed now are simply a gentle rain, and every gardener knows how beneficial rain can be.
Yes, Delmar Gethers loved his garden.
But he loved his family even more.
And we’d have to say those seeds were the best seeds he ever planted.

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