Grief, Parenting


I’m not a gardener. I have never been and suspect I may never be! I love, love, love flowers, and have total respect for a beautiful garden, but am not able to differentiate between weed and wonder when actually looking at them. I appreciate how much work they are, and also how wonderful they can be. I have been blessed with living in my mother’s house and therefore also living with her beautiful gardens. She knew how to garden, but more than that had no fear of getting it wrong and trying again. I, on the other hand, am petrified of wrecking it so try not to touch it.

In early April before she died, Mom and Auntie Becca planted tomato seeds with the kids. They used what they thought were old seeds and none of us thought much would come of these plants except perhaps fun for the kids. But then it was the beginning of may and we had many many many little seedlings showing promise, so we (and by we I mean Auntie Becca) transplanted them to bigger pots… then I (and I actually did it this time) had to transplant them again into yet bigger pots. I gave some away in hopes that other gardeners would succeed.

Every time I moved them I suspected this was it, they’re all going to die on me now. But every time they kept growing. Way later than I probably should have I moved them into the garden bed, the pots were clearly not big enough! Every time we moved them we lost a few, but most kept on blooming and growing. Now I have 11, yes 11, tomato plants in various varieties mostly heirloom growing in our garden. And they’re ALL producing fruit. How is this even possible? I kill rosemary and oregano for heaven’s sake! Clearly, someone other than me is making sure these plants survive.

IMG_20180727_1852531I planted most of the plants in moms big perennial garden. It gets lots of sun and we figured that would be best. That garden is also home to the handprint stones we made with mom before she died. There is one with her hand and each of the kids, and then one for her and grandpa. (the 4th is one Becca made when she was like 7). These stones are little memories for us, she’s holding their hands and always with us. They didn’t turn out the way I had hoped but the kids had fun and she had fun and the memory will hopefully last longer than the concrete.

So she’s in that garden clearly and watching over our little tomato plants as they grow and mature and produce fruit. It’s a bit poetic actually, she planted the seeds and we are watching the fruit grow. Just like she planted seeds of love in each of us and we’re now tasked with making our own fruit grow.  I never would have imagined back in snowy april that I’d be able to actually eat fruit from these plants, never having successfully grown them before, but here we are in almost August and it looks like we’re going to be able to enjoy something we grew together with Gramma. Proof that she’s still with us, even as we grow and change and produce fruit she’ll never enjoy. I know she’s smiling down on us and keeping her gardens as beautiful as ever.


2 thoughts on “Growing…”

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