The yard was a peaceful place where I built many memories with my father. My father and I loved the yard and we cared for the flowers and trees. It was an enjoyable place for me and my father.

The yard was big, and to its left was parking space and a gray door that opened to the street outside. To the right of the gray door was a cement wall covered with a grapevine tree and a vine tree with big green leaves. This was my father’s favorite because it gave sweet grapes in summer. Under this tree was a small wooden house for Jojo, our dog who was white and brown. She liked to play with me every day.

I had a small green ball that I threw far for her and she would fetch it for me, and again I would throw it, and again she brought it back. When she was happy she would wag her tail for me. She ran around me and loved being petted. She looked funny with her tongue hanging out of her mouth.

In front of the grapevine and vine trees was our garden. On the left of the garden were night flowers. When guests came to our house, the first thing they saw were these night flowers. Surrounding the garden were sunflowers, which were tall, yellow and green. When the sunflowers ripened, they gave seeds, which my father and I ate while watching TV and movies.

There was a cypress in the center of the garden and it was surrounded with roses. Every afternoon I would help my father water the trees and flowers. Sometimes we teased and played with Jojo. We splashed water on her, which made her run away to her house and then we would laugh at her.

My father and I often brought out chairs from the house and sat in the corner of the yard where we made tea, listened to music, and enjoyed the weather. The afternoons were cool and we sat here talking to each other. The yard made me happy. I was at ease with my father here. I felt that my father believed in me and tried to spend his time with us, his children. I can’t forget his smile or the light in his eyes when all his children—eight of us—sat surrounding him. He felt safe, and we felt safe with him. That was, in fact, the only time that I remember feeling free and safe, and surrounded with family. The yard was wonderful and comfortable and I have many memories with my father in it.

By Mona