"'Who gathered this flower?' The gardener answered, 'The Master.' And his fellow servant held his peace." (on an epitaph)
Author: Unknown, Author
She walks through the garden of stones observing the names of each one. "Some of these graves belong to children, daddy," she remarked. "I know. Children use to not live to be adults like they do now. Diseases and lack of food killed many of them," I explained watching my son playing in the leaves.
The magnolia tree was having it's last bit of display before the fall. The smell was quite pleasant in the air. Temperatures were starting to cool in the late evenings. My daughter, with her always inquisitive look, was asking questions about the world around her. Even with my short answers, it was never enough for the ever curious girl. "These other people that died. Were they mommies and daddies?" came another question. Looking around at the various monuments and markers, I noticed the many ones of angels, praying hands, and all sorts of vestiges of heavenly displays. "Yes, I'm sure many were," I responded back noticing the sun shining its golden rays through the trees.
Looking into my child's eyes I saw tears. Gently cradling her head in my hands I searched her face. Her soft blue eyes expressed a tenderness that made me tear up. "Why are you crying?" I wondered. "Their families probably miss them very much," weepingly she spoke. Taking a deep breath to hold back the tears and to keep from choking up I searched for an answer. "Baby girl, most of the graves here, unlike your Papaw's and other family member's graves, don't have flowers on them. These people passed on a long time ago," I said, "They have no one left to remember them or to place flowers by their tombstones. I'm sorry, baby, but that happens to everyone as families go on." I proceeded to place the flowers on my father's grave and fix the flowers put on my other families'.
My wife stood by my side and wrapped her arm around my waist. All the while keeping a close eye on our wandering toddler near by. In my mind as I wandered back through memories, I abruptly awoken from my thoughts to notice my daughter and what she was doing. The cemetery had gathered up all the old flowers that had been blown off during a storm and placed them in a pile. My child had gotten into them. Gathering a large collection of blossoms in her little arms, she moved to each grave marker. Taking her tiny hands, she lovingly picked out what she thought was the right flower for each monument. Laying each one on top of the individual granite stones. Feeling my eyes upon her she responded, "This is a garden. I will remember each one with a flower, cause they aren't forgotten. God remembers them if others don't." Afterwards she returned to her work of planting her flower garden.
There are times in life when a father is most proud. That day I couldn't have been more impressed. She will accomplish and fail at many things in life as she grows. But, dear Lord, nothing she will ever do in this life will compare to the love You instill in her.
My cherished flower girl, will always be teaching me the boundless love God has for us. People I meet and still others I know guide me from one point in my life to the next. Encouraging me on my travels of soul searching in small ways. It often goes unnoticed by them. Still God allows others to reveal these hidden treasures to me. Shaping me as a potter shapes his vessel. Sometimes gently and sometimes harsh but always with love.