Tending the Garden of Life

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NOTE:  This is a repost from 2012 from Laura’s blog www.greenforgod.blogspot.com.  It was originally written shortly after her mother was put in hospice care.  Miraculously, her mother is still living and just turned 87 last week.  Between her mother’s birthday and the Easter holiday, this post seemed appropriate as a tribute to life both here and in heaven.

Pizza Garden via Flickr

Pizza Garden via Flickr

 

A few weeks ago my three children and I planted a vegetable and herb garden in our backyard.  Actually, it’s a pizza garden.  You know, with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and some Italian-ish herbs.  (If only we could figure out how to grow pepperoni. . . )  The hope is that we’d get the kids to get outside and do something connected with nature while subtly encouraging them to eat things that grow out of the ground.  It may be a pipe dream but, hey, I’m a dreamer.

So far, we’ve met with some success.  The garden is growing well and our tomato plants are already producing blooms.  The kids enjoy watching the growth of the plants and check on them regularly wondering if they should water them just a little more.  Every new leaf or bug-eaten stem is noted and fawned over.  Our gardening role has evolved into three overlapping roles: eager observers, cheerleaders, and nurturers.

It seems like our plants are caught between two worlds–the above-ground world and the underground world, and we’re cheering for them to burst forth into this world with a bountiful harvest!  That thought made me think of my Mom.  (Of course, right now most things make me think of my Mom.)  About a week before we planted the garden, my Mom’s health had a sharp decline.  So sharp that we thought she wouldn’t make it through the weekend.  Gratefully, she’s still with us but we all know that it’s only a short reprieve.  We know that our time with Mom is getting short, we just don’t know how short.  After a decades-long battle with Alzheimer’s, my Mom, much like my garden, seems to have one foot in each world.  At times, she’s with us and communicating in her own way, other times she talks about loved ones that have left us long ago as if they were still alive.

Perhaps the watching, waiting, nurturing and cheering that we’ve been doing with our garden is the same thing that goes on in heaven when one of us is near the end of our physical life.  I can just imagine Jesus, Mary and all the saints and angels giving God reports about our progress and getting so excited about our arrival and “harvest” in paradise.  Every step Mom takes away from us in this life is a step she takes closer to harvest in God’s heavenly garden.  And what a harvest it will be!

As hard as it is to see my Mom leaving us a step at a time, I know that she’s stepping toward something.  And, with each steps she takes, exclamations of “She’s coming! She’s coming!”are being shouted throughout heaven.

Blessings for a good harvest,

Laura

Copyright 2015 Laura Nelson
Photo: Pizza Garden by Sally Jacobs. Copyright 2007. Via Flickr.

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About Author

Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. After receiving her degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin, Laura let her curiosity and enthusiasm take her down many paths including working in the world of finance, full-time motherhood, ministry leader, catechist, music teacher, speaker and author. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Visit her blogs at Green for God and Suburban Sainthood.

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