When I had my home video editing studio set up, my editing clients would inevitably meet my dad and see his backyard full of dozens of fruit trees, and ask for a tour. Over the years perhaps as many as a hundred different clients got a "tour" of the backyard.
During my dads final couple of years before he passed in 2009, time that could have been spent in the backyard was spent taking both my mom and dad to their doctors appointments. As my dad's prostate cancer worsened I would drive him and my mom wherever they needed to go.
I relished that time and yet it haunted me as well because I wanted to be in two places at one time. I wanted to be with my folks, but I also wanted to be working on both the inside and outside of the house to make it something they could both really enjoy.
Because I could not be at two places at one time, I choose being with my folks. After my dad passed my mother needed over a year to recover from the shock of not having her husband of 53 years around anymore. Too make matters worse, there was the matter of her cute shi tzu passing the following year.
Two days after the passing of Mom's shi tzu, she was in grave condition and had to go to the hospital for a week. I was rather shocked when the hospital medical representative for my mother's health plan asked early on if I wanted to take her home for hospice care! (aka letting her to die). It took 9 months of slow but steady progress but my mother had her best blood test in years.
I take pride in balancing out her daily nutrition with strategic night time snacks that sometimes take the place of dinner because the first two meals of the day sometimes get stretched out well into late afternoon.
As Father's day for 2011 draws near, I have embarked on a plan that will turn the backyard into a fruit tree nature walk as a way to tribute the great and steady work my dad put into the backyard (even while holding down a job as well) starting over 30 years ago until he passed in 2009.
My plan is to offer a 25 dollar nature walk tour of the back yard and the 30 varieties of fruit trees that perimeter most of it. Of that 25 dollars, I plan on donating 10 dollars to the tornado ravaged cities via the red cross.
I have spent the past several weeks roto-tilling and re-roto tilling practically the entire back yard. I'm even doing some landscape design to add a final touch to what my dad left behind.