Gardening… and life and death.

Let me start by saying, my mom is alive and doing well. We did have a hospital scare last week, that had me fretting, missing work (and some blog posting) and thinking a lot about this new phase of life us mid to late thirty-somethings seem to be heading into.

Mom and I, when I was around 12 or 13.

My mom is 70 and has never been sick, not as long as I can remember anyway. So my whole family was very scared and worried when my mom landed in the ER and then PCU last week.

I ended up with most of the week off as a result. In between hospital visits, waiting for test results and/or news and making or receiving phone calls, I was at home alone, while Matt was at work. I didn’t know what to do with myself in those moments. I didn’t want to be alone or still. I had to do something, or at least feel in control of something. I had some squash seedlings in the basement under the grow light, that were in bad need of transplanting and were starting to look pretty bad too. I knew they need to be planted soon or they were going to die, but I was out of room in my garden. So I went outside and started tearing up one of the few patches of grass left in my front yard, to make a new raised bed.

It felt good, therapeutic almost, to do some manual labor, to dig and sweat. If you have ever done yoga, it felt like in yoga class where your instructor tells you to set an intention for your practice. My intention was to save my squash seedlings and in turn save my mother. I knew it at the time that I was being crazy, but I was desperate and I figured if this was my crazy, it could be a lot worse.

So I dug and dug and sweated and got all the sod out. Then I layed down landscape fabric for the pathways. Then it was time to head to the hospital again. The next morning, before heading back to the hospital, I forked up the native soil, added compost and mixed that in. Then I picked up 85 pavers for the rock border and positioned them around where I had dug out my sod. Then I went and got a truck full of garden mix and shoveled it in. Then I went back for the cedar chips. I did this all in two days.

Meanwhile, I had been hardening off my squash seedlings. Like my mother, who was recovering in the hospital, my squash seedlings couldn’t just be planted outside without being acclimated slowly to being outdoors. Good thing gardening has taught me patience.

A couple of days later, I planted my squash seedlings in my new raised bed. Two days after that, my mom was released from the hospital.

Now I’m not saying I saved my mother by saving my squash. That would be crazy, right?

If anything, the garden saved me.

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