No one truly can understand more than me how much this 4x14 plot of earth means to me.
In September of 2010, I was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and a pituitary tumor. On Oct. 8, I was due to see my neurosurgeon to plan for my surgery; instead on Oct. 6, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the month of October, testing and surgery for the cancer, which did not work out as planned, I then had a double mastectomy on Dec. 30.
During January/February those garden catalogs began to grace my mailbox. I became excited, not knowing how exactly I was going to plant or take care of anything. That did not deter me, though. I ordered a variety of heirloom tomatoes and peppers. I ordered my favorite zinnia, basil and cilantro seeds — delivery week, May 16.
Then in my recovery, I was introduced to the prospect of having a plot in the new Wild West Community Garden. I could not have been more thrilled. It gave me hope, and so much to look forward to.
It was with much frustration and sadness that on the garden construction day all I could do was sit and watch. It is with a heartfelt thanks to all that made this possible on that day, and of course Jodi, who made her vision a reality. (Editor's Note: Jodi Smedley heads up corporate wellness for the Wildwood Family Y and thus, the community garden.)
I ran into a slight problem: May 16 was my brain surgery date! How was I going to be in a neuro intensive care unit, and worry about my tomato and pepper plants (and I would). They were all delivered early, and with my family’s help, all were in the ground by May 15.
It has been just past a month since my neuro surgery; I have a long journey ahead of me. My garden is what I look forward to, my oasis, my place to find peace and beauty in the earth — I cannot do a lot, but I can do a little and for that, I am grateful.
Blessings for a bountiful season,
~~Chrissie McConnell, Wildwood