Monday, November 11, 2013

Pluvial Gardens


The early stages of Pluvial Gardens.
My sister Meta along with her husband Bob and Bob's brother Gary have all been working on the Pluvial Gardens—a memorial garden not only for my nephew Kyle, but also our father whose ashes are there, our mom who is very much alive but is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, and a family friend who passed away on the same grounds a decade plus back. In this picture, Meta is sitting between two hearts outlined with rocks and filled in with red mulch—that was Bob’s idea, a nice touch. This garden is being constructed on the spot where the house fire claimed my nephew's life. Friends, family, and even some folks who hadn't known Kyle have pledged flowers, money, and time toward creating the garden. The outpouring of love is on a level I've never experienced before.

Also, my niece Kayla recently had this extraordinary piece of art tattooed on her arm. She chose a favorite shot of her brother, and I can see why she picked it. It has the essence of who he was, and the tattoo artist captured this to perfection. I feel like I don't say it enough to her, and so I want to say it now: I’m so proud of my niece in all that she has accomplished and what’s yet to come.

I am one who no longer believes in closure—not when you love someone as much as we loved Kyle. But I do believe you can keep the memory alive, and that brings moments of peace which are very welcomed. And on that note, my sister Meta wants to thank all the writers and readers who have showed so much kindness for her son—the people who reached out with all the support for Kyle's work in the form of reviews and spreading the word.

I hope you don't mind me talking a bit about my family but that is what this old soldier is thinking about on Veteran's Day 2013. And I hope this post finds you all doing well.

18 comments:

Paul Newman said...

It's important that we find ways to honor and remember the ones who aren't with us anymore.

When my wife's grandmother passed after a really difficult time, we built a butterfly garden in the back yard to remember her. Now, whenever a butterfly visits, I can't help but hope that maybe it's Betty coming by to check on us and say hello.

It's helped turn a difficult memory into a reason to smile. I hope your garden can do the same thing for you and your family.

Mates said...

My brother. I love you so very much. You have the biggest heart. We thank you and little d. You both have been right here with us for the last five months. Your love has helped us so much as we try the best we can to learn to live without him.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So wonderful to build a place where you can go to remember him. Not some impersonal cemetery but a place you have made his and yours. I wish I could send you a plant to place there.

David Cranmer said...

Thank you, Paul. I'm happy to hear the butterfly garden has helped your family. And I am the same way when it comes to visits from my nephew. A bird that lands, a breeze that moves the leaves. Quite often I find myself saying "hello, Kyle." In his dream journal he wrote, "You never wondered what/The smoke dodges as it/
Floats to safety/
Curls and twists to avoid."


Five months! Its staggering when it feels like a great length of time has lapsed and its just five short months. We love you right back, Mates.

I'm sure it would be very welcomed, Patti. I bought some sunflowers a couple weeks back. Kyle appreciated all types of plants and flowers.

Erik R. Bogart said...

The garden looks amazing. So many memories on that plot of land. Take care and see you soon.

Jay said...

What a touching and living tribute to your family. Happy Veteran's Day, battle buddy.

David Cranmer said...

Erik, So many memories, friend. And like Kyle said in Ossuary, "Those days will come again/ They were eternal, after all..."

David Cranmer said...

Jay, You slipped a comment in there on me. Yes, Happy Veterans Day. You know, I was thinking of our old Captain from the 101st. Wondering how he's doing these days? And that crazy First Sergeant! Don't really miss him as much.

Anonymous said...

The words "Thank you" my Brother in law will never be enough. With out you I may have never gotten through this part of my life and now I know I must cary on for family, friends and my son Kyle.

Charles Gramlich said...

Such things make us human.

Rachel Dickinson said...

I have been so touched by Kyle's poetry. His insight into the human condition was quite extraordinary. This is a wonderful tribute to your nephew. Loss and grief are things that will always be with you but the pluvial gardens will give you a concrete way to express those aching feelings.

Chris said...

All the best to you and yours, Dave. The garden will only get more beautiful.

David Cranmer said...

Brother, your words here have left me struggling to answer because I want to say so much more than I am capable of expressing at the moment. The writer at a loss for words. I remember telling you I would never return to that property in Freeville, but, thanks in part to your efforts, I now find a place of peace where there had been horror. A place Kyle would be proud of and where his spirit finds rest, and, for that, I understand what you mean when you say, thank you will never be enough.

Charles, well said. Friends like you have helped to lift Kyle’s words up and has given his body of work a chance to be recognized. Gracias.

Rachel, Thank you for the very kind words. Deeply appreciated.

You are very much welcomed to visit anytime, Chris. Like you, Kyle found a profound beauty in nature. I know he'd appreciate you stopping by.

Sarah Laurence said...

I'm sorry about your loss. It is wonderful to see Kyle remembered by loved ones.

David Cranmer said...

Appreciated, Sarah. Thank you. And wish you and your family the best with the upcoming holidays.

Dyer Wilk said...

I recently came up on six years since losing my grandfather to lung cancer. I was very fortunate to be able to spend a little time with him in his final months, but it made the passing no less painful, and while time has worn that pain away, there’s still that sense of loss. Sometimes, I find it hard to believe he’s gone. You spend years with someone in your life and then one day they’re no longer there.

I hold onto the memory of who he was, and it does help. It makes me appreciate what I have and to aspire to do better, to not take any of this for granted. I suppose that’s the best any of us can do.

I know I’ve said it before, David, but I admire the strength and the love you’ve shown in these posts over the last few months. You’ve done so much good for your family and you continue to do it. You inspire us.

Stay strong, my friend.

David Cranmer said...

Dyer, "It makes me appreciate what I have and to aspire to do better." Amen, brother.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

David, I am very sorry to hear about your nephew, Kyle. It saddened me to read about this tribute in his memory. Wishing strength and peace for you and your sister's family.