The old gentleman knew that more year were chasing him than remained . His beloved Betty had passed away last December . It was awful . He awoke that chilly winter morning and found her in art studio , on the floor . A tea cup shattered beside her frail body . Anh in her final moments , she had picked up his little flower painting . Betty loved the garden and especially daffodils .
" They dont ask anything of nobody . you just put them in the ground . indecent soil . Then let them do their thing " . He could still hear lyrical voice saying that .
" I love their brilliant yellow , they look like a cup and saucer . So up lifting . So full of promise and renewal , dont you think ? " . He smiled at the memory of that , " Yes , Betty , I do think you're right ," he said himself : " that why I paint the daffodils for you " .
The inevitable transition:
Later that spring , he heard the familiar sound of his son's truck pull into his driveway . "hey , Dad , sorry i didn't call . Though I'd check in on you " . The old gentleman let his son in the front door . " where 's Carol and the kids ", he asked . " oh , they're at the shopping mall . Carol said something about a new coach purse ". But the old gentleman knew it was lie . Benevolen , but a lie none the less . No , his son had come for "the talk ".
"it's just that with mom gone now , ther's no one to look after you , Dad , and beside , you're seen those apartment at oak street villa . There's enough room for you to set up your art studio . It's a nice retirement community . His son meant well . but he wasn't old enough to understand the long shadow of grief that accompanies the loss of a spouse . Or the pain of facing the innevitable transition . Leaving the home you spent a lifetime in , only to descend into a community of the irrelevant forgotten .
" come on , Dad , it's not like that . You'll have company . You won't have to cook , you'll be closer to me , Carol and the kids " . And so , with that , he looked at his son . "okay , i guess it' time . Time for croak street villa " . His son frowed ," /no Dad , oak street villa , not croak street . that not even funny .
Memmories are roses in our winter
The move went as well as expected . Going through Betty's old clothing and things was hard . But he was settled into the new apartment now , and his son was right . There was sufficient room for his art studio . Still , he missed Betty teribly . At night , she's come to him in his dream . They was young again and laughing . He mused about his artistic ambitions . She's emerge , smiling , from the daffodills in her garden . But then he'd awake , to the solitude . At least he still had his art .
The staff at oak street villa were kind enough and arranged for several of his pieces to be hung around the facility . Maria , one of the nurses , asked him about Betty once , and how he dealt with her loss . ' I don't think I have to dealt with it " , he told her . "I just go to bed at night , hoping that she'll come to visit me " . And then he said this " Memmories the roses in our winter . I read that in a George will column once . Never forgot it . Because it's true . In the autumn of our lives , we still have our memmories : . Maria's eyes welled with tears when she heard that .
Who will be my Mendelssohn ?
The old gentlemean offten joined the others in the dining hall . He was known around the place , due to his artworks . One old chap , a retired literature professor , had taken to calling him " Monet "
Hey , Monet , I saw that new garden painting you did in the front lobly . Beautiful piece ." said the professor . " well , my wife kept a beautiful garden , It reminds me of her " . It was the old gentleman could think to say .
The professsor suggesed he paint more pieces for the many halls and lobbies at oak steet villa . " what's the point " , the old man said " no one is interesting in an old man's flower painting . People today like that modern stuff "
With that , the professor became quite serious and said ," Johann Sebastian bach's music wasn't broadly appreciated untill his death , 80 years later . When another composer , Mendelssohn , played it all over Germany . Same with Thoreau . His Walden pond wasn't embraced by the public until after his death . So , you just keep paintin . you never know when or how your art will impact others ".
The old man just smiled and said : " well . I don't know who my Mendelssohn will be " .
The Healing power of art :
A few years crept by and the old gentleman did his best to paint , but arthritis and cataracts were his enemies now . His son and family would visit , but something inside of himself said it was time . He dreamed that final night of a daffodil garden , and in the distance he saw her . Betty was smiling and waving to him . Beckoning .
In the week after his death , his son and family cleared out the apartment and said their goodbyes to the staff . It was poinant for everyone .
A month later , another family arrived with their aging mother . She had lost her husband and was teribly afraid of change . She felt so alone in this new place . The knid nurse , Maria , told her that a wonderful artist used to live in her apartment . But the old women was stll so afraid . " Tell your story " ' Maria asked . " What did you used to do ?" . And the old women said , " I raised my children While Carl , my husband , worked at the bank . Oh, and I gardened . Tulips , roses and especial daffodils ". said the old women .
The second night in her apartment , the old women sipped some tea and continued unpacking . At one point she sat down and wept . Change was so hard . But then she clicked the light on her closet . And noticed an object on the top shelf . Using a stool she reached up and slid out the small painting . She took it down into the light .
Gazing at it , She began to feel a sense of peace wash over her . " It's so beautiful " , she thought to herself . " This must be a sign . Maybe I'll be okay , after all " .
The next day she visited the front desk and asked if there was a frame shop in town . " Why do you ask ? " said the girl at the desk . " Because I have most lovely daffodil painting , and I want everyone to see how splendid it is " .
I sure hope all of you like this true story . With love from Anhthuy .