To call my late father an avid gardener would be a profound understatement. After putting in 10-plus hours every working day as the head of production at a manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, he would come home and spend another two to three hours in this beloved garden. He was especially proud of the 150 some varieties of roses he nurtured.
Since I have never been accused of having the proverbial green thumb, I can only assume that horticultural skills are not genetically inherited. But at one point, I guess Dad had some flickering hope that I might want to acquire those skills. So, approximately 40 years ago, he gave me a cutting from one of his prized rose bushes.
I dutifully planted it in our back yard and essentially neglected it thereafter. Occasionally I would give it a shot of fertilizer or a modest pruning but never administered the quality of care and nurturing it deserved. As a result, that plant never got larger than about a foot tall.
Despite all this neglect, each year in mid to late June, a handful of blossoms appear. And this is where the mystery comes in. Every year those first blossoms invariably show up on Father’s Day.
This is no exaggeration. No fantasy. There is no logical explanation. All the more amazing – I did some research into the average life expectancy of a modern rose bush and It is approximately six to ten years. Yet my little “Charlie Brown” rose is still budding and blooming all these years later.
Call it a mystery. Call it supernatural. Call it a miracle. Whatever. All I can call it is a sign that Dad may still be looking after me.