Sunday, May 23, 2010

Today was my day to hide from the human world and embrace the plant world.
Once I was out of bed and moving I decided that this was the day I was going to get my yard in order. I’d let it fall behind last year and it was really looking unloved.
I ran down to our local garden center and picked out some flats of white and red impatiens, got a few bags of Miracle Gro dirt and purchased some beautiful hanging plants for the front porch.
Everything made the ride home in my pick-up truck without too much damage and I started right in.
First, I had to scrub down the outside walls of the house – they were so icky. What a treat that was! Soapy water running down my arms, underneath my shirt and settling around the waistband of my jeans. Brrrrrrr…the hose water was like ice! Finally finished with that and started cleaning off the front porch, walkway and driveway. Ah yes, another chance to become soaked to the bone. Sneakers squishing with every step and jeans bottoms that weigh a ton. Now I can get onto the good stuff…
All afternoon I planted impatiens, petunias, zinnias and geraniums. I made some beautiful planters with the zinnias and a gorgeous geranium basket. I arranged the impatiens all around my front bushes and the back garden. I even put some in the baskets that sit on the porch railings! Everything is going to be beautiful in a few weeks!
I got so carried away that before I knew it I was trimming the unruly hedges and pruning the crazy pine tree in the front yard. That lead me to the holly bushes –they really needed a haircut—and finally to the fir trees by the fence. Everything got a haircut or a trim. I even decided to mow down the tiger lilys that grow wild in the back yard. Usually I wait til they finish blooming but, not today!
Now I’m sitting here moaning that everything I own hurts. My wrists, knees, shoulders and ankles are telling me that I am not 20 anymore. Funny- but my brain told me all was well and the rest of my body said – “sure, go ahead no problem!”
I’m headed to the tub to attempt to get the dirt out from under my fingernails and the tree pieces out from my hair. Then – onto a good night’s sleep so I can once more go get more dirt and more flowers and have more fun tomorrow. That is...If my knees , ankles, hips and wrists will let me out of bed!!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My friend, Laura, died Tuesday after a long, hard, courageous battle with kidney and pancreatic cancer.
Seven years ago the diagnosis was kidney cancer with metastasis to the breast.She bravely had the kidney and the breast removed and began the cancer recovery journey, rarely missing a day of work while she battled the side effects of the surgery, chemo and radiation. After five years we gleefully and thankfully celebrated passing the big 5 mark.
Two years ago she began having unusual pains in her side. With all test results coming back inconclusive the decision to do exploratory surgery was made. After surgery we were told that nothing could be done and she was told to prepare herself and her family. They expected her life to end in about six months.
She never gave up. Once a week her day was spent hooked to an IV filled with chemo drugs. Her outlook was that the rest of the world had a 7 day week, she had a 6 day week…the trade-off was worth it. By this time she was working two jobs so missing a day’s work was not an option. There were concerts to attend (A Dave Matthews Band concert was never to be missed), plays to see and family events to be a part of. Her days were always filled with life and our days were always filled with her love.
About 2 months ago she and I had a long conversation about just letting nature take its course. She was finally tired of the battle and wanted to lay down her burden. That conversation was one of the most painful and, yet, one of the most rewarding, conversations I’ve ever had with her.
Over the past few weeks her grace and dignity has done more to help us come to terms with her decision than I think we helped her. After a week or so of some very difficult days, God granted her wish to lay down her burden and early Tuesday morning He wrapped her in His arms and took her home. This special, special lady lived life to the fullest, loved and was loved, and touched us all with her warmth. I will miss her dearly.