SUNLIGHT DAPPLED THROUGH the trees as the summer day transitioned into evening during that magical hour(s) of light beloved by every photographer.
I was cognizant of the fleeting, perfect light as I meandered, camera in hand, along the stone path in the garden edged by swamp grasses on two sides, by manicured lawn on the other borders.
I admired the columbines and Russian sage, the zinnias and the day lilies, the promise of daisies, the sedum and the ground-hugging creepers that crept between the stones laid as a walking path.
Once I bent close to photograph a busy bee and then an angel, hands clasped in reverent prayer, wings spread wide, stones from Montana ringing her feet.
Half way through the garden I paused beside four baseball bats laid end to end in a rectangular shape honoring the boy who loved baseball.
I circled along the back edge of the garden and knelt before garden art of a boy holding fireflies captive in a jar. I returned later, when darkness crept into the day, to photograph the fireflies aglow. I smiled at the memory of the boy catching fireflies.
I read the marker at the garden entrance, before entering and then again upon leaving. I wondered how a mother and a father could bear such grief.
And the next day, I hugged the parents of the boy—my nephew—who would have celebrated his 30th birthday. Today. And my husband and son and I gave Justin’s mother half a dozen red roses and a blue balloon to release with the other blue balloons she and my brother-in-law will send heavenward today. To celebrate the young man whose life held such promise, such love, such hope for the future.
THIS POST IS WRITTEN in loving memory of my nephew, Justin, who was born on June 16, 1982, and died at the age of 19 on August 20, 2001, from Hodgkin’s disease. His parents created a beautiful memory garden in their yard honoring their son.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling