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GRASS

"Dad, your grass needs mowing, let me do it for you." Dan said. Dan just wanted to make his Dad's life more comfortable in the final days of his life, but he wanted more than that, he wanted his father's affirmation. "No son, I'll hire someone to do it, you never did know how to mow a lawn."

Once again, his father's words cut deep. Dan's thoughts immediately transported him back to childhood. When he was a small boy, his father took the lawnmower out of the garage and showed him how to check the gas and oil and start the engine. Then the big moment came, he turned the lawnmower over to his son and went into the house to enjoy a glass of Ice Tea. Dan was proud. He was finally big enough to mow the lawn-his Dad trusted him. When he was done, he rolled the mower back into the garage, opened the screen door and flew into the living room to tell his Dad he was finished. "We'll let's see what kind of a yard man you are," his father said as he walked outside with his son.

Beaming, Dan walked behind his Dad, proud of the job he'd done. "You can't do anything right!" His father yelled. "Look at those strips of grass you left. You have to overlap the wheels when you mow." "I'm sorry Daddy," the little boy cried, "I'll do it again." "No!" The old man replied, "I should have known you couldn't do it, I'll do it myself."

One memory rolled into the next. Dan began thinking about the day he taught his daughter to mow the lawn. "Daddy, Daddy, she said as the screen door slammed shut, "I'm finished, come and look at the lawn." Dan starred back into time at his own childhood as he look at the yard. She'd made the same mistake he had, leaving strips of grass on the lawn. For a moment, time froze. He had a choice to make, he could repeat the mistake of his father, continuing the cycle of pain or he could control the urge. As he pointed to the strips of grass she missed, Dan said, "you have to overlap the wheels when you mow so you don't leave those strips." "I'll go get the mower and redo it," she said. "No, that's OK," Dan said, "They will still be there next week when you mow the yard again."

Dan smiled and said, "OK, Dad, is there anything else I can do to help you?" Of course, Dan knew he already had. He'd stopped the cycle and created a better future for his Dad's grandchildren.

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