As long as I can remember, Mother has always had a garden. Sometimes her garden included vegetables, sometimes, hanging baskets, flower boxes or deck plants. I am often amazed that Mom can grow flowers in the most unlikely places as evidenced by her rock garden at the island. The first year that she planted the rock garden, it was mostly rocks with a very small amount of soil. I wondered if anything would ever grow in that bed. Each year since then, she has carefully mulched and nurtured her little garden so that this summer, it flourished with bright and beautiful blossoms welcoming all visitors as they walked up the path from the boat dock.
So, too, is the garden of Mom’s life. She has grown and nurtured a garden of dear friends and family. Animals, also, sense her caring. From her “pet” water snake under the dock (age 10) to the occasional raccoon foraging for a meal on the deck, to the seagulls looking for a free handout, they come. Even our little dog, Megan, feels perfectly at home napping on the bed with Grammy on a warm summer’s afternoon.
Mother’s “people” garden is as varied and bright as her many interests. She cherishes old friends like the classic perennial garden yet welcomes new friends like interesting new varieties of annuals. So many visitors cherish their visit with Grammy Gille at Jennings Island in Canada. She is, indeed, the oral historian and Matriarch of Woods Bay.
Like the flowers in her garden, Mom individualizes and appreciates the vast differences and interests of the members of her our family. No two flowers are alike and neither are people. That’s what makes life interesting. She has a saying for all occasions. She often says, “As my grandmother used to say…It’s not important to be the best, it is important to be your best.”
Mother, we are very fortunate to be flowers in your garden of life. Thanks for tending to each of us, nurturing us, challenging us, and cherishing us.