It's been a tough year.
A year of facing fears,
of grasping tightly to faith,
and a pouring out of many blessings.
When my parents made their journey to heaven four months ago,
cards arrived in my mailbox.
A lot of cards.
Cards full of words of love, prayers, and encouragement from loving friends and family members.
Cards that meant so much to my broken heart.
Each of them were like a comforting hug.
Two of those cards were sent to me from my sisters-in-law and their husbands.
Inside were gift certificates to a local nursery that I had driven past numerous times on the way to my parents' house, but had never taken the time to stop.
Written in the cards was their wish for me to purchase something special for my gardens
in remembrance of my parents.
During the next few months, I thought long and hard about what would be the perfect tribute.
A new rose bush, a statue, a tree...
but my wish for a small white arbor for our garage service door kept nudging my mind.
I envisioned it covered in roses and clematis.
So, when my husband and I took the trailer one last time to my parents' house last week to pick up the last of the things needed to be cleared out, we stopped at the nursery to look at their arbors.
Under bright blue skies and warm sunshine, we walked around the property.
The sound of trickling water immediately surrounded and entranced us.
When we turned the corner, there stood a beautiful fountain beckoning me to come closer.
It danced and splashed and totally enthralled me.
It was almost musical.
I loved it.
I knew immediately that this special fountain would be the perfect tribute to my loving parents
who had filled our house with music in one way or another.
As the clerk rang up the gift certificates, I scrounged through my wallet to pay her the rest of what was owed.
My husband suddenly, lovingly, tucked some money into my hand with a simple,
"Here. I'll take care of the rest," he said, smiling.
I couldn't swallow the huge lump in my throat.
I choked out a weak, "Thank you so much, honey."
We hugged while the clerk looked on with soft questions in her eyes.
And do you want to know something?
That nursery didn't carry any arbors.
Not a one.
It dawned on me that God thought that this fountain was a much better choice.
A few days later on a perfect late summer day,
I dismantled my old flea market birdbath in the center of the catmint,
and assembled the new fountain.
It brought back fond memories of my times setting them up at the landscape company where I used to work.
The music trickled and danced and splashed through the garden...
and I could see my parents smiling down on me~
knowing the joy I was feeling.
I stood back and allowed a sob to escape.
My eyes welled with bittersweet tears
as garden music filled my soul...
...and the fountain poured out blessings...
quenching my thirsty soul.
~ Eucharisteo ~