Monday, March 24, 2008

My 200th Post... Well, Actually my 201st!

Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, I have reached my 200th post. The experience of having you all read my thoughts day in and day out has been very much appreciated. All of your comments have meant so much to me.

When I compare the number of posts I have written to the number of posts in many of your blogs, 200 seems quite a low number and yet, to me, it represents a large part of my life over the last couple of yours. My posts are more like memoirs to me. Down the road, I want to be able to go back and read about what was going though my mind during those years of my life. I want my children and grandchildren to one day read their father’s and grandfather’s thoughts as he travelled through life and maybe learn just a little bit more of who I was and what I appreciated most about life.

In celebration of my 200th, I was going to make up a list of 200 things which I wanted to do before I die but when I got to number three, I all of a sudden realized that I wasn’t going to make much past three… well maybe if I stretched my mind a little further I might have reached ten but not much more. It was then I decided that, instead, I would repost what I consider to be my favourite post. It it such a favorite post of mine because the individual spoken about in this post represents what I would consider to be true love and dedication towards family in a world where many consider family secondary to things such as the success of the rat race in which we live. Now I know that four or five of you had already read it but since I enjoyed it so much, I can only hope that you might enjoy it once more as well. It is called “The Peanut Man” and it was originally posted on January 8th, 2007.

To all my blogging friends… Thanks for your friendship, thanks for your thoughts… I guess just plain thanks for everything!

The Peanut Man

Last August I visited my grandmother’s grave site at our local cemetery. During this visit, I noticed an elderly gentleman in his seventies walking across the cemetery with a bag of peanuts in his hand. By the strength of his gait, I could see that he was not merely wandering through but instead heading to a specific location. On the way, he would pick up fallen flowers arrangements and respectively place them back on their rightful headstones.

He finally stopped by a headstone that hid in between two cedar bushes. As he paused, he started up a conversation to what appeared to me to be with no one in particular. After a few minutes of observing this, what I incorrectly thought to be, “bizarre behaviour,” I finally realized that he was actually speaking to whoever was buried beneath this particular headstone. I didn’t have any idea as to who he was visiting but I was sure that whoever it was he must have been very close to.

Shortly after this brief conversation, he walked over to an old oak tree and proceeded to throw peanuts to the local grey squirrels. After this kind gesture, he turned around and headed back to his car. I got the feeling that feeding the squirrels was something that the person he was visiting used to do throughout their life and it only seemed like the right thing for him to do now that they were gone.

About a month later, I returned to the cemetery only to once again find this gentleman walking across the cemetery with a bag of peanuts in his hand. It was as if I was in a state of déjà vu. After the conversation at the gravesite, he again fed the squirrels and then promptly left as before. Up to date, I have seen this gentleman six times and each time, he follows the same routine.

Often, when a relative of ours departs this earth, we attend a funeral in their honour and return to our homes after the interment. For some of us, we may visit on a weekly basis, others annually while others never. I suppose that our visiting frequency of the grave site would depend on the relationship that we had with the person now deceased. Regarding this gentleman that I observed, it would appear to me that he was extremely close to the individual he was regularly visiting. I cannot help but assume that he felt some sort of comfort in conversing with this deceased individual.

Yesterday, while taking some photographs for another headstone blog that I was working on, I observed this gentleman yet again silently in conversation with whoever he felt such an attachment to. I would have loved to approach him and ask him as to whom he visited every week but fearing that I would be invading his privacy, I chose to silently observe off at a distance. After he left, I approached the grave site that he so religiously attended to get a better idea of who he had been visiting. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was probably his parents who were there resting in peace.

I can only imagine how much this seventy plus year old gentleman loved them and how much he missed them. If each of us could love our friends and family in life just a fraction as much as he loved them in death, our homes would be a much happier place to live and our lives so much richer. When I think back on all the times I witnessed this gentleman, the word that most often comes to me is "precious." How precious can one's love be for another!

Just after I snapped this photograph, I watched him as he kissed two fingers on his right hand and then lightly touch the headstone. If I was close enough, I am sure that his parting words to the ones he loved so much would be...

"Goodbye Mom and Dad, I will see you next week.”


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Congrats again for your 201st post. I remember reading "The Peanut Man" and it is one of my favorite too and it's not just because he feeds the squirrels!

Janice Thomson said...

Very moving Dave - it gave me the shivers by the time I was finished reading. Congratulations on your number of posts!

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Congratulations, Dave. You've produced so many meaningful posts just in the time I've been reading.
All the best for all the rest!

monsoon-dreams said...

congrats!!on this 201st post lemme tell u what makes me visit ur blog daily,checking every now n then if u have posted something new.though not overtly spiritual,i always feel the maturity,love and hope which can be found only in a child of God.and i love the way you write-so funny but makes me sit and think too.wishing you all the best.please keep posting...Have a wonderful day!

monsoon-dreams said...

...forgot to add this!a really touching post, of ur best posts.

Portia said...

That was quite a moving story, thanks for sharing it with us. Congrats on the milestone post! Time flies doesn't it?

Greeneyes said...

COngrats on your 201 post ! hoping for many many more !

I enjoyed this "Peanut man" post , it is very touching ,it shows that there is love even after we pass away and your comment
" If each of us could love our friends and family in life just a fraction as much as he loved them in death, our homes would be a much happier place to live and our lives so much richer. "
is so true ,but also says something about you, you picked up on it ,the love , the feelings of a stranger , you didnt just see someone and pass on by , you felt it ,that in it self is beautiful!

Have a great Day

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the posyting milestone. That's alovely post about the man visiting the cemetary.

Sandy said...

What a great post Dave and congrats on your 200th..

I hadn't seen this one before so glad you reposted it.

Your blog will definitely be a treasure to your grandkids some day. You write with such insight and feeling.


Josie said...

Well, congratulations, Dave. I remember when you started blogging, and your blog has always been on of my favorites. And your post today is one of the reasons why! What a lovely story.

heiresschild said...

congratulations Dave on your 201st post. you've been of one of my favorites since i discovered your blog thru Josie. i'm glad i've been part of that 201, and i'll continue being a part of the next group.

this is a very moving post. right now one of my closest friends is battling leukemia, and it's been really hard dealing with.

geewits said...

That is a very sweet post. I'm glad you re-posted it. My Dad was cremated and his urn sits atop a shelf in my library next to his painting. I talk to his painting now and then. I'm sure that's far more convenient than driving out to a cemetery, although I love old graveyards and consider them a form of art. Congrats on your 200th post! I've never kept up with my numbers and am sure if I guessed right now I wouldn't even be close. Now I want to go look!

geewits said...

Uhm, where do you look?

Cheryl said...

I missed this post the first time around. Your posts are always meaningful, and this was a great one. To have had that love and for you to have the opportunity to witness it is a blessing.

Sandi McBride said...

I was moved to tears, Dave...congratulations on your 200th post...or rather 201st...I agree with your idea of the blog, to share your thoughts with your children, grandchildren, family...congratulations also on your nomination of Post of the Day...

David Kim said...

Congrats on your 200th post! Keep up the good work. Hopefully Google or Blogger will never go away.

Akelamalu said...

I could have sworn I posted a comment here yesterday??????? :(

Anyway, congrats on your 201st post and the 'Peanut man' post was very touching.

Anonymous said...

People do amazing things. Your story is well done. The phone is very nice too.

I get a shudder in my spine when I hear a chain saw roaring to life. I feel the cry of the tree and wish, no pray, it had legs.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a lovely tribute-- his to his parents and yours (of him) for writing about it. This was a beautiful post.. I came through David McMahon's blog where your post was appropriately nominated for the post of the day. Congrats on your 200th +1 ;-)

CrazyCath said...

I came over from David's blog as this is recommended to read.
What a moving post. Thank you for sharing it and you are quite right - if we loved in life and made the effort as we seem to in death, the world would be a better place.

Congrats on your 201st post. I'm just starting out so I've a bit to go yet!

Gypsy said...

Well done Dave on reaching your 201st post. That is a great achievement.

What a lovely story that was and it says a lot about you that you even noticed that dear man. Most people these days are so consumed in their own lives that they don't notice the little things that say the most about humanity. Just beautiful.....

A Happy Downtowner said...

Congrats on the 201st post. I love this one, it's a beautiful story and I love how you captured it in the photo. I really enjoy your blog and hope to read many many more great posts.

Yellow said...

Reading this post I felt that I'df learnt more about you by how you approached this, than about the Peanut Guy. You have a lot of honour in you. Hugs & congratulations by the way.

alicesg said...

Congratulations on your 201st post. Sorry for not visiting but am now back from vacation.

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