The sun beaming through the window made my eyes water. But its warmth and beauty awakened a stronger desire to recover completely from the injuries I suffered in a life threatening car wreck.
The months spent enduring surgeries and physical therapy were tougher than I would have imagined. But the recovery of my physical wounds wasn’t the most difficult part. I had been helping my mother cultivate a garden in her backyard that year and my absence from the project was painful.
She said that she was managing it well without me but it wasn’t just about the garden, it was the time we spent together. We would talk about so many things that our relationship as mother and daughter seemed to pale in comparison to the friendship we were forging as adults in a sometimes harsh world.
Dad had passed away years ago and I had lost my husband to cancer recently. I wondered how the garden was really doing knowing that her arthritis made tasks difficult. I suspected she was telling me stories of the garden’s success so I wouldn’t feel bad that I couldn’t contribute.
It was Friday and I was scheduled to leave the hospital that Tuesday. The elation was almost overwhelming. I told Sharon, my best friend since childhood, that I was fearful of how mom would feel when I see that she hadn’t really been able to keep up the garden.
My son came to retrieve me and deliver me to my mom’s to stay for a while to finish my recovery without being alone. We arrived at mom’s that Tuesday to find Sharon, my other two children, my 3 grandchildren and numerous other friends. I thought, awe…how wonderful that they are all here to welcome me home. But it was even better than that!
I came home to find that they had been working in the garden all weekend. Although, our previous work had indeed suffered during my time away, they created such a beautiful new starting point for mom and me.
We now refer to our garden as The Friendship Garden. It’s come to so sweetly represent the friendship my mother & I have developed along with the love, care & friendship of so many others now as well. What a precious gift indeed!
By LaVae Mathis ~ All Rights Reserved
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