Sometimes you don’t succeed. I have been processing this blog mentally and emotionally for about a month. In mid May of 2017 my family experienced a sudden traumatic family loss. I lost my parents in an accident. Honestly my parents were both very active and healthy, I thought I would have them for several more years. All four of my grandparents had lived into their 80s and a couple in their 90s. Every time there was a thought of losing my parents, I would push it back in my mind and tell myself it was something I didn’t need to worry about yet. My relationship with my parents was sweet in nature. I called them almost daily and loved to hear my mom almost sing when she answered my phone calls. I leaned on them for support, emotionally and physically. They often gifted me with homegrown beef, home canned goods, and fresh vegetables. Frequently I would visit during the summer and help my mom weed, pick, or preserve. My two older sons grew up spending summer weeks on the farm learning the value of hard work and raising your own food. Their home was a wonderful place for our family. I always enjoyed “going home”.
When the accident happened, I had been living in my community for over 14 years. My life was well established there. We had a support system of friends through school, work, and church. I strangely never felt at home in our new subdivision house (read more about that in my blog, “The Struggle Is Real”). My parents’ death left me longing for home.
Against all the advice given to grieving people, we uprooted our little family and moved 45 minutes away. For me it was moving back to the country, but for my husband it was an all new experience in one of the smallest towns he has ever lived. I soon found out that even though I went “home”, I could never truly go home again without my parents. It is not so much the place as it is the people in that place. We moved in early July in the heat of the year. My parents had already planted a partial early garden in May. I would like to tell you that everything was so peaceful, beautiful, and fruitful the minute we moved, but …. It was not.
We moved into my parents home and were welcomed by an untended, out- of- control garden. There were weeds in the garden taller than me. Crops had failed and gone bad in the field. As I planned to attack my garden and make progress, I began to have some health issues. I’m not sure if it was the extreme stress I was under or just something that happened. As my physical problems progressed, my ability to work in the garden came to an abrupt halt. I looked around and all I could see was failure. It was such an emotionally deep pain for me, I began to have dreams that my parents would come back and chew me out about all the weeds and no crops. I would wake up grieving and disappointed in myself. Furthermore, my chickens were not even laying and we had lost a bunch to a raccoon. My health and my heart were hurting. I was pretty sure I wasn’t cut out to garden or homestead. At this point I was making plans to put a playground for my youngest child on our garden spot. I was thinking we could get some good use out of our large yard. My physical problems progressed to me having surgery in the fall. There were complications and healing took much longer than I thought it would. Although more slowly than I hoped, I was gaining strength, not without pain, not without struggle. I began to think, maybe I could at least grow some green beans next year and add a couple of tomato plants. Something just wouldn’t let me quit. I am not really sure why I didn’t quit. Something I have learned in the last couple of years is that progress is progress, no matter how small. I will blog soon about progress on my homestead.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” — Albert Einstein
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