Cardinal Climber vine in bloom in my garden, October, 2011.
Early morning realization:
I am mourning my garden. Still.
I've lost more than half of my garden over the last few years. It began with hurricane Irene in August of 2011, continued with hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 and continued further with the Winter of 2013-2014, our first real Northeast winter in well over a decade (the first since our moving here to the coast in December of 2005). Plus we were 5 feet above normal for rainfall in 2011 and suffered drought & above normal temps in 2012.
And it's time I begin dealing with my grief vs shoving it away and pretending it isn't there.
I've often made reference to feeling betrayed by Mother Nature and it's true, I do. And that betrayal has hurt so deeply I've lost the joy, healing & comfort gardening always gave me before. I've been saying that this year I will reclaim those good feelings, but to be honest, right now I have my doubts.
Gardening was my Church. My connection. My therapist. My inspiration. My safe place in this world.
When I look at the garden, when I even think about it, tight knots form in my chest & stomach. Much like what I felt for months once we found out my beloved Father.in.law was going to pass and even after he passed.
Maybe I am even a little angry too. Not about my Father.in.law, but my garden, at Mother Nature.
My roses, my favorite garden flower, have taken the biggest hit. I'm down to five from well over a dozen. I know that doesn't sound like much, but for my small space, it was more than enough. After this Winter, I've sadly added Pope John Paul II hybrid tea, in memory of my Nana (who very much admired Pope John Paul II), and Mardi Gras floribunda, my first non Knock Out rose (and one of the most beautiful in my garden) to the lost roses list.
Oh and add Camellia 'April Blush' to the overall lost list too. She made it through this Winter fine until that last dip Ito the teens & 20s last month.
I guess it's like the ole saying that goes something like, 'you know it's time to move when you've painted the house...'
Prior to hurricane Irene in August of 2011, my coastal garden was finished. There wasn't room for one more plant. I had attained my goal of making the garden not look like a container garden - it looked like a lush, full in-ground garden. And I was blissfully happy with it!
I should have known...
There's lots of cleaning out & up to do and re-potting what's left. Then it's time to start over. Again. Because I won't get over it until I do.
Is there something hurtful in your life that you've been avoiding that you could begin taking steps today towards healing?
We found out late yesterday afternoon and I honestly nearly collapsed with relief and exhaustion once we left the doctor's office. (For more on what brought me to this point, click here).
There's a but - isn't there always?!
I have to go back every 6 months to be monitored because I have what are technically pre-cancerous cells, however there is no treatment for the virus (like there isn't for the common cold) and my body should be able to deal with it on its own (like the common cold). If not and it progresses, surgery would remove that area of the cervix and then any cancer would be completely be taken care of if it gets to that point.
But for now it's good news and more relief than I can begin to tell!
We went out to dinner on our way home from the doctor (I'd been too distracted and stressed all day to think about cooking or even packing to go away this weekend) and afterwards I ran in Barnes & Noble to see if they had a magazine I've been looking for. After finding it, I suddenly realized I was roaming around the store in a daze and that is was the first time in over a month when I had done anything and not been worried about the possibility of cancer! That's when I decided to head to the checkout so I didn't end up in tears in the middle of the store.
I'm so thankful and appreciate of all of your love, support and good thoughts since the beginning of March! You don't know what a comfort that's been to me and how much it has helped me through these last four and very long weeks. Thank You!!!
My girlfriend, who started the Wednesday evening bookclub, is a teacher and she is doing a presentation on reading for the teachers at her school tomorrow (after the kids go home for the day). She asked me if I could send her a photo of myself either holding a favorite book or in front of one of my bookcases because I am the inspiration for who she wants her students to be as readers! Is that awesome and humbling or what?!
I'm not much of a fan of having my picture taken or of taking my own, but, I was so touched by her request (choked up in fact) and the reason for it, I couldn't say no! This is the photo I took today to send her:
Often we don't think we make an impact on those around us. Often we do, but we don't usually find out.
Imagine what a difference it could make to that person if we did tell them?!
I can tell you it's made a difference with me.
Have you told that person who inspires you that they do and why? Well go on then and go ahead!