Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Grief in the Garden and More

 If you follow me on Facebook you know the last couple of days have been emotional. I no longer apologize if my grief or emotions make people uncomfortable. I also don't apologize if my honest questions make people uncomfortable. I've come to believe it's good to be uncomfortable from time to time. AND for me it's essential to make space for grief however it manifests - be that a memory which brings joyful laughter, or an incredible longing which brings sobbing. Joyful praise or surrendered lament - it's all worship. 

We are planning our annual dip netting trip.  Josiah should be totally enmeshed in the planning, repairing of nets, and making the trip to Kenai. There are so many things this summer that are great, but they bring sharp memories... His presence is greatly missed. We push on...making space for all the feels. I posted a photo of Josiah as a baby last night. I was missing him. Michael was missing him. Carrie put together this side-by-side composite of Josiah and Josi. She is daddy's girl. Look at those smiles! I'm a blessed woman to have raised Josiah and to get to love on Josi and Livie too! 

Josiah and Josi - those smiles!

I am learning it's good for me to go to the garden when life feels like a lot.  I can be alone and think and cry and laugh. I had just sat my stuff down to unplug the fence when Dad was up and moving. Back inside I went to help him shower and make his breakfast.  When he settled in with his paper, I thought I could run out for 30 minutes. I planned to journal but got busy weeding the rows of potatoes...they were a mess because I'm new to gardening and wasn't sure which green were weeds and which may be potatoes. Eventually the potatoes formed a row and grew big enough to clearly tell.  I weeded and planted new potatoes in this row. See the one to the left? I looked carefully - not one potato. 

 I decided to go ahead and get the pumpkin starts into the ground after weeding the row to the left. I was waiting to get dirt for the new bed...but we've been too busy to get to Lowes for dirt. I've decided I can plant potatoes in the new bed if I get it filled shortly. The 1st and 4th row were planted with organic potatoes from co-op. The 2nd and 3rd row with russet from Freddies. Not ONE plant. Lesson learned. I re-planted the 3rd row with new potatoes. Maybe they'll have time to make some tiny, baby red potatoes.

In the midst of weeding, I prayed through some thoughts from James and Peter. I also spoke quite honestly to Jesus about how my soul is doing just now...and I cried. There have been a few times I've thought it would be so nice to be in heaven...and not that hard to arrange.  I would be able to check on Josiah. And I can hear him saying, "Mom, what are you doing here? You KNOW I'm o.k.  You aren't supposed to be here."  I was talking through that feeling...the feeling of just wanting so badly to be able to tell him how much I wish I could have protected him on Oct 23rd and asking God for assurance that Josiah is o.k. I remembered and prayed through a comment Pastor Brian made in a sermon months ago. It was something along the lines of, "The best day in this life won't compare to the worst day in heaven." I'm pretty sure there won't be a worst day in heaven and I butchered the quote - but that's the thought.  Yes, I talk to Josiah from time to time - probably not much different than talking to myself and I've done THAT for years. I was telling him I was remembering the best day in his life and how much better he must be now.... and I looked up and saw this heart shaped rock. I could almost hear his voice saying, "Absolutely, mom!"  

THIS is why I garden.  I headed back to the house. The MINUTE I opened the door I smelled SALMON! I had put salmon in the oven and lost track of time.  I had stayed out 70 minutes instead of 20 minutes.   There was smoke coming out of the oven when I got upstairs. I asked if someone didn't smell it...or wonder about the smoke. Evidently, not! This is my first garden catastrophe of the year. 

Allie has been working all day. Nolan came over and played a game with Stacia. Michael, GG and I visited with Matt and Michelle. They are friends of Nate (my brother) and Heather's from Turkmenistan. It was fun to meet them and to share stories. Michael had to run to an appointment. Stacia had counseling. Nolan went to run errands.  When Stacia got home, we grabbed some dinner. 

I met Michael in the driveway for a hug and then I drove in to spend the night with Carrie and the girls. These nights are mini-retreats for me. The girls (all 3) go to bed early. I'm used to staying up until midnight - sort of. I usually get a cat nap if we watch an episode of something around 8. ::snort::  I will blog and then settle in for some quiet...I brought my journal, Bible, a couple of books, an ipad... this extrovert is learning the value of solitude!

Oh, one more garden project. Melany shared this idea with me to save my strawberries. I painted some rocks red, added black dots and a clear finish. I placed them in with my strawberries. The idea is that the birds will peck the red rocks and learn they don't like them and leave my berries alone. Michael is skeptical but, then again, we've not made it to Lowes for the garden netting or dirt. LOL I did see a Robin pecking at them. I haven't gone out to see if she also pecked at the berries. 

Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow. I plan to do the same. 

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