Gene is now back home in Orlando.
Six weeks ago just before Gene went into surgery, I planted starter seeds for my vegetable garden. Little did I realize at the time these seedlings would be reminders of hope, growth, and healing. I tended to both Gene and the seeds with lots of love, care, and nourishment. The seeds were just beginning to sprout when Gene came home from the hospital. Two weeks later, as Gene’s sutures were removed and his digestive system started to sort out its new configuration, the seedlings were green, healthy, leafy 4″ tall plants.
A week before Gene returned home to Orlando, both he and the seedlings were “hardened off” in preparation to going out into the world on their own. Finally, after Gene’s last drainage tube was removed, I stopped prodding him to eat and drink, and no longer made his menus but insisted he decide what and when he would eat. By the same token, the seedlings were taken from their cozy indoor location and moved to a cooler location to prepare for their new life outside exposed to the wind and cold.
Gene is now at his home and my little seedlings are planted outside in their new home, each adjusting to the new elements and striving to survive independently. As the winds buffet my seedlings, they will get stronger and grow into healthy plants. As Gene starts to swim and take on his regular activities in Orlando, he will be building strength for the next steps of his recovery.
Chemotherapy begins on Monday. Gene’s doctors report that most patients find this the least difficult of treatments. We hope that Gene breezes through this and will be swimming with me again on Singing Beach when he returns in July. Then we’ll all sit outside and appreciate the garden and the miracles of life together.