He showed us around his house, talked about his garden and gave us a huge bag of tomatoes to take with us. He loved gardening and was always growing something.
Early in September we talked on the phone and he seemed to be in good spirits, my sisters who lived in the same town said he could be quite grouchy, but I never heard that when we talked.
A week later my younger sister called and said he'd had a heart attack and died before the ambulance could get him to the hospital.
It was so unexpected and so sad. After the funeral my sister said she'd found 3 roses he'd ordered for his garden and never got a chance to plant. There were 3 of them and we each took one. It was bare root and still wrapped up so I put it in my suitcase.
Mac planted it for me and I dubbed it the Jim-Ed Memorial Rose, my Dads' name was James Edward. He struggled at first and wasn't really thriving, so after a couple of years Mac dug him up, put him in a pot and moved him to the garden. He seems very happy there and I smile each time I see him. He would have loved being planted in a garden.