On Father’s day, I drove my best friend Gaylee and myself to my daddy’s grave, where we shared tears of love mixed with my words: “I miss you, I love you incredibly, I hope you hear me – I know you are in my heart always.” (He died in 1977)
I brought a bright brown pottery pot holding three Dianthus (sweet william) flowers splashing pink and purple. I’d planted them several days before; one day I noticed while watering that a bump, the size of a golf ball, had appeared in the soil. I pushed the potting soil down, thinking that a vole or mole or squirrel had dug there searching for a nut or two? The following day the bump appeared again like a flower bulb had erupted, and once again, I packed it downward.
When I set the pot on the side pf daddy’s grave marker, reading, “BEST DAD EVER, LOVE YOU FOREVER,” that same soil lump appeared in the same spot it had before, but this time when I pushed down with my finger, a brown-spotted head appeared to our surprise! Gaylee explodes, “It’s a frog!” Then, it jumped onto the edge of the pot, and I dashed to my car to grab my camera.
Luckily, toad waited the seconds needed for me to snap, snap, snap.
More importantly, we couldn’t leave TOAD at the cemetery when rain was not in the forecast for a week; how would he/she survive? No one to water its home.
Right away, my thoughts went to remembering daddy stopping our car (when I was 10) along side Judd Falls Road to pick up and assist a turtle crossing this busy road.
Gaylee goes to her car to fetch a plastic cup and bag in which she poked some holes for air – in which to carry toad to a wetter-better environment. It just so happened that we were fairly close by a gorge with a waterfall, barely trickling.
(I was surprised how vigorously TOAD jumped to the top of the cup over and over again. Maybe the flowerpot soil was very nutritious as well as cool:)
Since Gaylee is not so steady on her feet – I walked down the hill to the creek, until stopped by a wall, 5-6 feet above a small pool of water maybe 3-4 inches deep. I knew in my heart that that it would be a safe and happy home for our friend as I flung TOAD from the cup, splashing into the shallow water; swimming away.