We are trying to grow a family, maintain a family. But hundreds of miles separate my husband and I from our sons.
Missing my babies, my now grown sons, hits me suddenly and I look for something familiar. Something I can hold on to. Something that brings me close to them, reminds me of the places we called home when they were babies, and boys and still sticking their heads in the refrigerator looking for a snack, or dropping their wet towels on the bathroom floor or sitting at the kitchen table wanting to talk with their mom.
No, they did not spend time with me working in the garden. They avoided that as strenuously as they avoided eating many of the veggies we grew. But the garden itself is a familiar place.
The green onions in my Florida garden look like the ones we grew when we lived in Ohio or Illinois. The green peppers, tomatoes, green beans -- they stand in lovely rows as they did in each garden we planted through the years regardless of geography.
And looking at those plants, smelling their individual scents, touching their leaves and fruit -- I am transported to wherever my boys reside at whatever stage they were at. At whatever stage I am missing them the most at that particular moment.
I miss my babies. My men. My family. I need something that will give me hope that someday we can all be together, reconnected. Sharing memories and making some new ones.
The tomatoes are getting big. The beans are blooming. The cucumber plants have baby pickles. And all of this growth and change and ripening gives me hope. This moment shall pass and good things, good times, family times lie ahead, if I am just patient and continue to nurture what is growing right now.
I can't take my eyes off my garden, even when tears blur the image and my heart longs for my children. The tomatoes are getting big, the beans are blooming, baby pickles grow on the cucumber plants and someday soon my sons and I will hold each other close. Someday soon.
The tomatoes are growing big....