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  • Tim Bistline

Hey Bob… I watered the garden!

Updated: Jul 24


Everything I have written down in this post really happened on Thursday, July 23, just the way I experienced it, and I am truly grateful and humbled to write about it even though I am not a writer. Journaling my thoughts and experiences and observations help me work through my emotions that life churns out of me!

Hey Bob… When I woke up this morning I had no idea that today was the day you were leaving us. I guess I should have known better. After visiting with you on Wednesday afternoon in the hospital, even though you couldn’t speak, I had an inkling that it was time for you to go. You seemed to be aware that we were all there and you nodded in agreement when it was suggested I pray. You seemed at peace with the decision to let go, and so did your family. It’s hard to let go! Thank you for letting me have the chance to tell you how much you meant to me over the years; I should have done it years ago.

Hey Bob… Before I heard you had gone, I read these words in my morning devotional time. From the wisdom literature of the Bible, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2) How fitting… what divine providence; a God moment that I will never forget! It sounds like you would have written those words even though I know you didn’t; but maybe you had a hand in those words appearing in my devotional for me today. It’s possible, and thank you if you had anything to do with it! Sitting in the office, working on my sermon was difficult and challenging. I expected more calls today and interruptions and distractions. But not many came my way. I got it all done and decided I had some time to go out and water the prayer garden.

Hey Bob… you were so faithful in taking care of the plants, even on hot, humid summer days. You would grab a folding chair from the gym and sit in the garden with your cigar and give those plants a drink. I would come out and check on you on really hot days as I didn’t want to find you dropping over from heat exhaustion. I checked and you always responded with a thumbs up!

Hey Bob… while I was out there today, watering the garden, a sudden rain shower came through the area; light rain appearing out of no where with the sun beating down. I stopped and looked up; I guess I was treading on your turf. Even though you had gone you were still watering the garden! I should have known you would take care of things. I tried to clean up the place a bit. We need a new stone bench and a new bird bath which I will replace in your honor.

Hey Bob… there is a resin bench in our prayer garden. You’ll never guess what Bible verse is inscribed on it; Ecclesiastes 3:1. (See above) Come on, and people say that God doesn’t exist! I know you didn’t believe that and neither do I. Thanks for spending some time with me today in the garden; I sensed you were there in spirit. We will do our best to take care of it and water it every Thursday. Feel free to remind God to make it rain on Thursdays. But in the off chance that He is busy, we will look after it!

Hey Bob… we miss you and love you!

We will do our best to continue to live out your legacy and live by the teachings and values of Jesus that you so strongly believed in and modeled for us. In your words, “If you don’t have anything good to say to someone, don’t say anything at all.” We will do our best to be kind and loving to everyone we meet, to water the garden, harvest the fruits and vegetables and give them away, travel with coffee, see the glass half full, find the subtle humor in life and share it with a twinkle in our eye, keep asking questions that don’t have an obvious answer and keep plugging away in our bib overalls until it is our time to go home!

From a family friend who was changed by your life!

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