One of the chief reasons we bought our present house was the gardens that were created by the previous owner, Mr. C.- a sweet, elderly man in his 90’s and a true master gardener. He had taken the property and carefully designed “rooms” using all kinds of native trees, shrubs, flowers and to our delight twenty six high bush blueberries. The first summer after buying the house we found that toward the end of August, blueberries filled these bushes. We would come to work on the old house and often take a short break by picking off some ripe berries. Curtis, who was three at the time, would keep asking for more! In a letter to Mr. C I told him how much we loved the yard and especially the blueberries. I slipped in a picture of Curtis standing next to the bushes.
Within a year we received word through a neighbor that Mr. C. had died and it was his request to be buried not in North Carolina where he was living near his children, but by his already deceased wife in New Jersey (where we live). For some reason I felt it important to go to this man’s funeral even though we never had met him. We also decided to take Curtis with us. When we walked into the funeral home I felt awkward and wondered if I had made the right decision. From out of the quiet of the room someone’s voice called, ” Hey- it’s the blueberry boy!” Faces turned and several people walked over to greet us from Mr. C.’s family. What we found out was that Mr. C. had saved and displayed on his desk the photo of Curtis by the blueberry bushes and nicknamed him ‘the blueberry boy.’ The whole family knew my son through that one picture. We talked with them about Mr. C. and about the house. As we drove home I realized that our families were not only connected just by buying Mr. C’s house but also by partaking and sharing the fruits of his labor through the photo of ‘the blueberry boy.’