Between You, Me and the Garden
By Bernadette A. Moyer
We are on “Covid time” and suffering from “shelter snacking” and add anything thing else like an untimely death or violent outbreak and many of us are literally fighting back tears. We are trying to function in a world that is upside down and visibly on its head.
Hard to justify complaining about missing a baseball game or live concert when some people have been forced to close their business or lost their job and source of income. One problem isn’t isolated from the rest or from others. Some have died and some has lost a loved one due to Covid-19.
Have you been to the grocery store or a restaurant lately now that we are living through months and months and months of a pandemic? Our mask is a minute by minute reminder of the seriousness of what is happening in our country and in our world. We are living through a pandemic and it has changed everything about how we are living life.
If nothing else during these “self- isolation” days, weeks and months, we have been afforded a true reflection opportunity. A time to reacquaint with oneself. I turned 60 years old last October and that big milestone was also about looking inward about my past, present and future. I’ve had a wonderful life with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It has been rich in experiences and opportunity for learning. Let me share a few.
Without God I am nothing, I literally couldn’t function without my deep sense of faith in God and in this life and the afterlife. I know for certain that at times people will let you down and God is always present in my life. I am thankful to my parents Bernie and Inez who brought me up Catholic, I feel blessed as a result. My faith in God has made me strive for the best version of myself, warts and all. Each life experience has molded me into the person that I am today. My heart is full and I am so grateful.
On being widowed, knowing someone and loving them as your husband and father to your child and then having them die unexpectedly when you are only 23 years old changes everything. You grow up fast and see things as life and death and you learn how quickly a person can pass from this life to death. He was not a perfect man and we had many problems, being so young I doubt that our marriage would have survived. I had yet to grow up and was still maturing on my own. No matter what the future held I never wanted our child to grow up without a father. She did at age 2.
On knowing sexual abuse within my immediate family, it can be summed up neatly and nicely in one sentence. “In order for them to believe you, they would have to change their life and they are not going to do that.” Thank you Father Kevin! Sadly it was decades before I would hear that statement that rang so true. I stood up for a child and it cost me my family, period. The final blow and smack in my face would be omission from my mother’s obituary. Ask yourself why any loving family would do that? For me it was just one more hurt that they would pelt at me. The family I miss is not the family I experienced, the one I miss was one that lived only in my heart and my mind.
On losing a precious pooch, I don’t believe we ever get over our losses but rather that we learn to live with them. The takeaway is the glory that comes from knowing real love and the hearts ability to love so deeply.
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” this was often quoted by my mother. I will leave it at that for the ones that once owned my heart, my time and my attention. Be well and know that I am at peace within myself and with God. It may have taken some time but I am there, thank you Lord Jesus.
And for the positive loving lessons learned. Early on I didn’t really appreciate my husband Brian as much as I do today. He is everything to me. He has shown me by example what real love is, the kind that is able to endure all that life throws your way. After 28 years he still makes me so happy and makes my heart melt and skip a beat when I see him. I am so thankful for our years together and for his steady love. Blessed in marriage! But we never forget that we met as young widows who experienced the same life lessons. Each of us came together after having one partner die and one who cheated. These experiences made us appreciate the “us” that we created together even more so.
Our home and our work have both sustained us. This fall we will begin 29 years in the same house, never would I believe that. Brian knew 35 years with one employer and now 4 years with another all in the same field. For more than 20 years I have been a professional fundraiser again truly blessed to do the work that I love.
So at being 60 years and in the same house for almost 30, what is ahead for us?
Right now we think about how many more years of working before retirement and how do we want to spend our retirement years, again, God willing. We are “empty nesters” after me living as a mother with children in the home for 39 consecutive years. A career by any measure, for sure. I am so happy for the experiences and joyful to be out the other end.
My garden literally and figuratively is blooming with so much color and variety and in good health. It looks happy and at peace. It is living through this pandemic and not skipping a beat on living a beautiful and healthy life. My garden much like me hasn’t always thrived. It has battled poor soil, infestation and lack of water and nutrition. But once fed and nurtured properly has come back bigger and brighter and filled with life.
One of the greatest life lessons I have learned is that whatever you are going through, this too shall pass. I learned to lean in and accept what I cannot change rather than fight it. I learned that most people really are doing their best with what they have and what they know at any given time. And most probably the greatest gift you can give yourself is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift that you gift to yourself and the one that allows for peace and gratitude and most of all for God to live within our own hearts.
Between you, me and the garden …
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