Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 17, 2009

Without Words

So much of the communication in my world is through emails, but my friend Pat always preferred the phone. Since she died in May, I miss those almost daily calls. Mostly I listened, and too much were the details of doctor visits and treatments, but I miss hearing them anyway. Sometimes people ask me how her husband Ed is doing. I say I’m sorry I don’t know. He is more an email guy and I shoot him some from time to time but don’t hear much back. I think of him often and wish I knew the basics beyond a summer that must be hard. Does he have any good days at all?

Well I knew he’d had at least one. He’d happened to come by when my niece was storing her stuff here before a year abroad. Under her protests, he helped us unload boxes, and he seemed cheerful as he asked about her trip. He’d come by to deliver two enormous pots of purple petunias that he’d grown from seeds in his greenhouse over the winter. They were gorgeous, and I nursed them along for a few months, but they were scraggly by this week; too many brown vines, though some flowers still bloomed.

I came home from errands on Friday and the hanging pots were a brilliant purple again. Miracle? No. I knew Ed had come by, whisked away the old, and hung two new pots.

I brought in my groceries and opened the fridge, which smelled deliciously of basil. There In the vegetable bin I found a lovely cauliflower, a few shiny green peppers, zucchinis, and a purple cabbage. I took some chicken from the freezer and started thinking about supper. There wasn’t a note, but I knew Ed was doing what he’s done so many summers. I won’t know exactly what’s in his heart and mind, but I felt glad to know his garden is growing. And grateful he is sharing its bounty.



  1. Oh, that is so sweet. These are difficult times for him, and all that miss her, I am sure keeping busy helps a teeny bit. Just getting through one day at a time.

  2. How sad and sweet. I’m sorry for your friend passing away. It seems like Ed has his own way of communicating, his own signature note.

  3. I read Jama’s post right before this, in which she cites part of that Joni Mitchell song. “…and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden…” I’m glad to know that Ed’s found his way back to the garden. So many healing balms to be had, so many lessons to learn. And lucky you, you’re a beneficiary of those riches.
    Happy Monday, Jeannine.

  4. That is so nice. He’s like a vegetable faery!

  5. Such a beautiful gift — from him to you, and from you to us. I hope the garden helps at least a little to ease his pain, and yours. Thinking of you….

  6. thank you!

  7. thank you, Sheela.

  8. Thanks, Melodye. It was a nice Monday – hope yours was, too!

  9. thanks, Jenn!

  10. Thanks, Amy. Hope you had a good weekend.

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