My late husband’s vegetable patch was gone, but he still made sure I had what I needed…
Weeds in my lily patch! I couldn’t abide by it, especially on this day. Amidst my lovingly tended lilies, there were two out-of-place green sprouts. I knelt in the dirt and sighed. It was May 19, the day I would have celebrated 24 years of marriage with my late husband, Harry. It was our first anniversary since he died.
Every time I took care of my lilies, I thought of Harry. At the other end of the yard opposite my flowers was where his beloved vegetable garden had been. Tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, green onions—you name it and Harry could grow it. We were never short of supplies for delicious garden salads—my favorite. Inevitably we couldn’t eat it all so the leftovers always went to our church. Our whole community knew about Harry’s vegetables.
Harry’s garden had been around nearly as long as we’d been together. We were both divorced when we met at a Parents without Partners meeting in 1982. After we were married, Harry moved into my house from his apartment, and right away he got his crops growing.
Then, at age 83, Harry was diagnosed with lung cancer. He battled it for six months and tended to his garden for as long as he had the strength to make it outside. In December of that year, he passed on.
I let his legendary garden go. I didn’t have his talent for growing vegetables. By now it was nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the lawn, although I couldn’t help but look towards the spot every time I went out back. A few months after he died, on Easter Sunday, I bought a special lily to put on my church’s altar for the service, then brought it back and planted it in my lily patch. At least my flowers would continue his legacy in the backyard.
I carefully parted my lilies and grasped the intruding plant, tugging slowly so I could get the root out too. The weed came out easily. I shook off the soil. That’s when I realized my mistake. These weren’t weeds!
They were green onions, perfect for my garden salads. Someone had put them right where I was sure to find them.