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Petals of Tears in my Garden
Bonnie Moss Spring 2011

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How long must I grieve? Or any one in grief for that matter. Everyone grieves in their own way.There may be stages of grief, but grief is very private and personal. No one can fathom someone's grief, nor is it their place to suggest that it is time to move on.True, prolonged grieving can lead to clinical depression.This is between the one grieving and a professional. I came across this book: They That Sow in Tears by Catherine Chappell and Charles Nolan Sandifer. Both shared the heartache of the loss of a child. Catherine's daughter and Charles' son were on the waiting list for organ transplant. But they did not make it to receive the transplants. In their grief, both found comfort working in their gardens. They found out that they were not alone. Planting a memory garden was a universal response to grief. Love of gardening was one passion Eric and I shared. I did not know anything about gardening- but he did. He patiently tilled the soil in our first house to put in a garden. He planted a vegetable garden, he dug up flower beds and that started my interest in gardening. We went around to garden centers. He taught me the difference between perrenial plants and annuals, the different varieties of shrubs and bushes. I was born and raised in the tropics where it is always summer and flowers are always in bloom. The grass is always green. But I have never done any gardening .

He was happy getting his hands dirty planting seeds in the winter. When it is time to plant the garden, it was a pleasure to have the plants ready to dig in. He had a new plant to surprise me every season. We always toured the garden centers to see what's new. I love roses, and he gladly obliged. I actually got carried away planting rose bushes, unaware of the different characteristics of roses. There is tea rose, there are floribundas which he favored for their abundant blooms. I liked the rogusa roses for a hedge and the blooms are fragrant. There are other very throny rose bushes. I admit I made poor choices. Towards the 21st century, he started to get sick and frail. He was my gardening consultant. He patiently helped me start seedlings, showed me how to start and to nurture these into wonderful plants come summer. We moved to the lake and I thought I would not have the room for gardening. The terrain is rocky and at the end of the driveway was this eyesore of a septic bed. He built wooden flower boxes so I can indulge my love of gardening. Later,as frail as he was getting, he shared in my joy when I created my really first garden on my own- converted the septic bed into my private park. On the dockside, he got a big flower bed built and another one using raliway ties. It was my introduction to container gardening.He was always willing to dig up a new flower bed and lets me get carried away with gardening. In our last house, he built his own small nursery, complete with heating, lighting and ample space for the tools he needed. I don't have the room nor the patience to build a greenhouse, but since he passed away, I have a mini-nursery and grow most of the annuals for my garden. I try new varieties of seeds, but I grow his favorite flowers- marigolds and impatience. Iris plants have a special place in my heart- he used to bring in a bouquet of Iris from the garden.
Each Spring, as the plant world comes to Life, I feel tears fall. Teardrops, like the dewdrops on an early morning waking up the petals, nourishing them and soon, these will burst into an array of color and beauty. Petals from my teardrops turn to lovely blooms.
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