It is May 1, 2013 and I am sitting in my office looking out of the windows on a beautiful sunny day. Hopefully spring has finally come to Florida! I am surrounded by pictures and memorabilia of beloved family members, the best and most supportive friends ever, my travels, and my job. This is the fourth Spring I have had my Celtic Healing Garden. Do you know what that means? This is a stupendous milestone! It means I AM A FOUR YEAR LUNG CANCER SURVIVOR!! Four down and many more to go!!! I started this garden in the spring of 2010. At that time it was to be an anniversary garden, to celebrate my wedding anniversary and my breast cancer anniversary. They come on the same day. I didn’t think of that when the surgeon scheduled my breast biopsy. I was thinking what most newly diagnosed cancer patients think, “HOW SOON CAN YOU GET THIS CANCER OUT OF ME, DOCTOR?”When I told my mother the date of my surgery, she pointed out that was also my wedding anniversary. That was in 1992. So I am now a 20 year breast cancer survivor, too. By the way, I had the same reaction about my lung cancer surgery in 2009. “How soon, Doctor?”
I have worked in this garden in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Now it is the beginning of the new spring season of 2013. I have cared for each plant tenderly, as I have tried to do with my friendships. Each plant represents a friend to me, and friendships must be carefully tended. Each year I have done something different with the garden. I have either added new plants, or trimmed the old ones differently. Each year I have learned something new about gardens. It’s like having a new garden every year! I love learning new things! It keeps me mentally alert.
This year the weather has been strange. From December through March we had three to four days of freezing weather, then three to four days of warm weather, than three to four days of rainy weather. Every time we would have a warm spell, the plants would think it was spring and bloom. Then their blooms were killed by another blast of frigid cold from the Arctic. Brrr! Al and I had many opportunities to use our cold weather clothes that we purchased for our Antarctica trip! When it rained, the weeds grew!
God has been resurrecting the plants that have been lying dormant all winter, and restoring the ones that were killed by the last wintry cold spell. Similarly, he is resurrecting and restoring the parts of my body which the cancer ravaged. So far we have not added new annuals; we’ve been waiting for the last freeze and I think it has finally past. However, we have to wait until after the second week in May. We will be out of town then for almost a week. Without daily watering, newly transplanted flowers will die in this heat. We did transplant our two knockout rose bushes from containers to the ground in our raised flower beds. The smaller one lost some of its root ball in the process and has not been blooming. The larger one with double blooms survived and started putting forth more blossoms right away! They are both in the flower bed with the new fairy statues that Al painted. I can see both the sculptures and the roses from my living room.
Next week we are going on a cruise to the Bahamas with Al’s high school reunion classmates. Two years ago we went on a 50-year graduation cruise with them. Everybody had so much fun that they decided to celebrate their 70th-birthday with another cruise. This time I won’t need a wheelchair! There’s just one problem; we are traveling on the Carnival Fascination. This is the cruise line that has had three ships break down in the last six months. Please pray that our ship does not break down! Should I pack extra toilet paper? Rent a chemical toilet? I know! I’ll take a package of Depends! (Adult diapers) Al is always joking and saying, “When we were two years old, we played in the sandbox together in our diapers. Now that we are retired, we are going on the Depends cruise!”
Pictures show a rose with early morning dewdrops, a rose and a fairy, and the rose bush in the flower bed with frolicking fairies. Other pictures show the first two marigold blossoms of the year and the first Gerber daisy in a container.