Thursday, 18 October 2018

RIP Graeme

Sad news Graeme our St Giles elder and fellow gardener is no longer with us, he has gone to meet his maker.  He died peacefully at home on Monday morning. His farewell funeral is tomorrow at Morrisons, Universal Drive at 3pm.

Graeme was a keen gardener and always gave me good advice about plants. He had a wonderful productive vege patch and he and his wife Jennifer kept both their house and garden immaculate. They always welcomed me in their home but it was the garden that I most liked to see as Graeme was always growing something new. One time I gave him some broad beans seeds, they were meant to be dwarf  variety but in Graeme's patch they grew to be giants! Must be something in the soil, but I also attribute it to Graeme's green thumbs.

Graeme had an eye for order and beauty as we worked together on the St Giles garden beds. As an enthusiastic gardener he had to restrain me sometimes with his wisdom when I found 21 dianthus for our flower bed and put them all in at once. He rearranged them to be pleasing amongst the hebes that Auckland Transport had planted there, they had left the job half done so I just added some more plants. Graeme was in horror the Auckland Transport had given us hebes, he called them cigarette butt hiding plants and said we needed something more like grasses that won't hide all the rubbish. We couldn't take them out but I was afraid I might have created more work for him by putting too many dianthus there so he took some dianthus away and then put back the weedmat. Then we got some white stone chips mulch and it was Graeme's idea to put twelve memorial rocks there that represented the twelve apostles.

While Graeme knew he was getting on a bit - all those rocks, pebbles and chips were heavy! I reassured him we would continue to look after St Giles garden.  I think that was one less worry from his mind to have some younger people gardening. Les also helped with other garden beds and Graeme was so encouraging and wise in what would be the best thing to do. He  told me, take Les as a helper gardening is good for him rather than going to the library all the time. lol. He said it in jest I suppose because he must have known I was a  librarian that was always getting in trouble.  We got so many compliments from church members and people passing by about the flower bed. I knew I had an ally with Graeme in getting the work done and what would be most pleasing to God.

The only thing that worried me  was when Graeme told me he was going to spray the weeds with Roundup. He was very cavalier about it and said 'she'll be right'  but I just said to him be careful about that as its a toxic chemical. I don't know if exposure to Roundup directly causes cancer but cancer is what got him in the end.  As has happened with so many people today. So just going to say that as a warning to gardeners in particular  to be safe because if Roundup gets into your system your body is not going to like it. I would rather people weed by hand than have to get out and spray or at least, wear gloves and a mask. The most dangerous time is when you are mixing a concentrated  lethal chemical.  Don't let weeds overtake your garden so that you will need to resort to using what to nature is like a hydrogen bomb. The fallout is more than you think.

Despite all this, even if it kills you, and we all are going to die of something in the end, Graeme's  enduring faith is a shining example to us all we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. His love and care for everyone at St Giles was in his regular prayer meetings and guidance for anyone who asked. We all knew we could go to him as he always had time for us being like the Grandad of St Giles church.
 Graeme's last words to us was Romans 8:28 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

RIP Graeme we love you and miss you but most of all thank you for sharing that God loves us and showing His love to others. Will continue on with St Giles garden in your memory this side of Paradise.  Till we all meet again.