The other day I was told by an acquaintance of mine that her husband had died.  It came as quite a shock since I didn’t even know there were any health problems to be praying for.  Anyways she told me this story and I wanted to share it with you as it may encourage someone out there to plant a garden – you’ll see why…plantsmall

These friends own their own business, and if anyone knows how your life revolves around a booming business you can understand the following without a seconds thought.  My friends had been married 51 years, 4 months and 2 days.  I found it quite astounding, not only the length but the mathematical detail behind that number that she gave me.  She must have had time to do the math, but when she said it, it meant so much to know “she had been counting.”

When they were younger, she kept a garden.  It was always a joy to work on and then watch bloom, the flowers, the fruit, the enjoyment, it gave so much and yet it took work.  A lot of work.  Work that aging business owners with little time could put forth.

But one day, he asked her, “Why don’t you do something with the garden?”  She scoffed. She was busy. She was tired. She was aggravated by that comment expecting her to work more… she told him “If you want a garden, do it yourself.”  In hindsight those words hurt.

Then came the doctors visits, then his passing.  It was all rather quick, especially since they had 51 years together and hardly anytime to prepare.  The family came in, they held services and when they returned back to the house, the house that seemed so empty, she found herself looking out the window at her once proud garden.

She was staring at it when her daughter asked what she wanted to do.  Expecting her mother to say, eat something or take a nap, she was caught off-guard when she instead announced, “I want to go to the garden center!”

The entire family went to the garden center, they bought flower bulbs, seeds, tools, whatever they needed and they came back, and as a family, they began cultivating a garden, in memory of their father, in memory of her husband.  They placed rocks with his name and had a ‘family moment’ together.  It is something that will bloom next season and bring life back to her home.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

I used that passage in my latest book “Dandy Lion, A Legend of Love & Loss” and it was written to help those understand that it is only when you sow the seeds of love and understanding, that your life grows with the riches of others.

When I thought about planting a garden, I thought of the work, the heat, the labor, the watering, the weed picking.  I didn’t think about the fruits of my labor. I didn’t think about the enjoyment it gives others.  I thought about the time it takes, the wait that must endure.

And now… I think about the seed that will flourish.

Life is short.
Nurture it like a garden,
because when it is gone… you have to start over.