Saying Goodbye to Lindbergh Guyse
Saturday, October 6, 2018 was a fun day. My family gathered to celebrate my great uncle Lindbergh’s 89th birthday. We ate food, told stories, and laughed. He played a game of dominoes with his grandchildren and lost. Although he did raise a big fuss about losing one of his favorite games on his birthday, he had fun.
After the game, I talked to him. He asked me to come over to his house the next week, but I told him the following week would be better because I would be on fall break. I hugged him and told him that I would come over and pick some greens and hang out when my break began. He always told me I was reliable because I would always show up when I said. I just didn’t realize when I left his daughter’s home that day, we wouldn’t see each other again.
A few days later on Tuesday, October 9, he passed away. Friday, October 12 was his funeral and yesterday some of the family gathered at his home. There were collard greens, onions, peppers, and tomatoes to harvest.
Almost three years ago, I interviewed my uncle for this website. I wanted to start interviewing urban gardeners and he was more than happy to volunteer. I wanted to know how people managed their gardens in the city and what motivated their gardening. He was overjoyed to be featured and he requested I print off a copy of the interview for him to keep.
What stood out most to me is that he kept living life to the fullest even though he had to have both of his legs amputated below the knee. He was in a wheelchair and still grew his own food. He even was teaching others how to garden. He was full of joy. If anyone had the right to complain and be full of melancholy, it could have been him.
He ran a successful catering business called Guyse and Son that he had to stop running after he lost his legs, but that didn’t stop him from cooking. He was always whipping up a dish for people. He even brought a dessert to my 35th birthday party back in August even though I told him the only thing he needed to bring was himself.
I will truly miss him. I will miss his gardening tips, his friendship, and his upbeat spirit. He was a great role model for how to overcome adversity. If my uncle could garden from his wheelchair at the age of 89, any person can.
Remember, anyone can be a gardener. You just need to get ready, get set, and grow!
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