Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Bigger Garden

My husband’s 92-year-old uncle was on hospice care. He had lived a great life. Done several things that many of us only talk about doing—started a new business, hiked the Appalachian Trail, appeared in movies and advertisements, won awards at the NC State Fair for his photography, chutney, and jams—all after the age of 65.

Even though Uncle Tom’s family had no expectation of him living another year, he had other plans. At our recent visit he said, “Next year I’m going to plant a bigger garden.” Tom wasn’t delirious. His body simply was worn out. He really did want to increase the size of his garden. I suppose he woke up in the morning thinking about heirloom tomatoes and rows of sunflowers. Uncle Tom believed in expanding his life, even when the end appeared imminent. He passed away two weeks later.

Retirement is often viewed as a time to downsize, expect less, and gradually slow down. People expect us to “act our age.” If we suggest something BIG, they think we’re confused or fantasizing. They chuckle behind our backs. 

Why think about a bigger garden? And yet, why not?

I’ve decided to follow Uncle Tom’s example—to plant “bigger gardens” through my attitude and actions, and experience life as an ongoing adventure. 

How about you? What will be your “bigger garden?”

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

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