Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. -Pema Chodron
I just found out today that my gardener’s carpenter recently passed away. It was an accident; I don’t know more, nor do I need to. My family shielded me from this sad news for a few days since I have just undergone surgery. I’m grateful to have learned of it today, however, because his service was this evening. And it was somewhere I needed to be.
This carpenter, a crusty dude is [was] called Little Al. Little Al and I bonded over my huge garden reno a couple years ago. He built me a gorgeous pergola, he hand-crafted a beautiful fence, and he built a playhouse for my girls which someday will be my potting shed. With. No. Plans. Just a photo and my dreams. He made it happen. And he did so much more, too.
Little Al pretended I drove him crazy but I knew he quietly loved it. I baked him muffins. He acted like a dad to me. He even once told me he loved me. Caveat: it was in the middle of my annual garden party & he had had a few beers, but still….
And now Little Al has died. I find this so damn hard to believe. I attended his service tonight to honor and toast the man who created such beautiful structures at my home, who drank beer with the best of them, who was irascible and kind, and whom I will miss deeply.
In the words of his boss and dear friend, rest in peace, Little Al. You have given me a reason to let the tears flow. I love you, and I will miss you terribly.