garden angels

5.6.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut
an angel in my garden ~ 5.6.13

Our lives have taken on a surreal quality, a numbness, in recent weeks. Tim’s brother Toby is now living with us, and sadly, has been diagnosed with incurable bladder cancer. A few days after receiving this devastating news, we were stunned to hear that Tim’s cousin has also been diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer. Radical treatments will buy them both a little time, but how much is uncertain. This is all so uncomfortably familiar, having lost three of our middle-aged parents to cancer when we were young adults. And yet, this is now all so terribly new to us, cancer striking our generation for the first time. Insidious, unrelenting, cruel…

5.5.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
new elm leaf

Zoë has been wonderful company for me – I’m thinking of getting a cat harness and leash for her so she can come out into the garden with me. She seems rambunctious enough to enjoy an outdoor adventure. 🙂 Toby is doing angelic things in my garden – he loves gardening and it gives him something satisfying and distracting to do between medical appointments. And Scarby has been wonderful company for Tim – she is coming out of hiding more often and enjoys sitting on the cat tree to look out the window and soak up the sun. She often sits on his desk and watches him work.

The other day I sent Tim a link to an article, how to calculate tree height using a smartphone. And then, Voilà!!! Mr. Logic found the app and used it on our next visit to my tree! He determined that my tree is 60 feet tall! (That’s about 18 meters tall for those of you on the metric system.) An interesting bit of information to ponder, since I still cannot see the shape of its leaves just yet.

5.5.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut
my tree

Janet and I took a train to New York City. We met Larisa at Penn Station and went shopping in the fabric district for material for her wedding dress! She is sewing it herself with a little help from her friends. Seeing her drape the different shades of purple fabric over her body to see which one she liked best, well, they were some of the happiest moments in my life. My lovely daughter is going to be a stunning bride in just a little over a month!

22 thoughts on “garden angels”

    1. Sometimes I think love is the ONLY thing – it’s present with joy and it’s present with sorrow and somehow works its magic to weave our lives together…

    1. Thank you, Jeff! These days I am often reminded of a proverb that one of Larisa’s friends from India shared with her: “You are born in the middle of things, and you die in the middle of things.”

  1. So sorry to hear about your family’s challenges, Barbara.
    I do hope you post pictures of your daughter in her purple dress; would love to see the final results!

    1. Thank you, Monica. I plan to take a zillion pictures of Larisa in her wedding dress, and share the best ones here on my blog! She says it’s finished and she’s very happy with the way it turned out. 🙂

  2. Such sad news Barbara, yet you are seeing the beauty also. The angel in your garden will always remind you of these times, as the angel continues to watch over you and Tim. Olga and Zoe found you both at just the right time in your lives. Only one month to Larisa’s wedding too, she’ll have to sew fast! I do hope we will all have the opportunity to see photos of her on her special day. 🙂

    1. Larisa is done sewing her dress, with a little help from her friends. 🙂 Definitely planning to share photos! She’s going to come stay with us for a few days next week to help us out with medical errands, etc., wonderful daughter that she is. Olga and Zoë are our little sweethearts – Zoë and I have “couch time” once or twice a day. She puts her front paws on my thigh and purrs while I scratch under her chin. Good progress for a formerly feral kitten who never used to purr!

  3. What a heartfelt post Barbara. So many downs and ups in your life. I love that brother #4 is finding solace in the garden. I can relate – that’s something I also love.

    I’m very impressed to hear that Larissa is sewing her own dress. Wow she’s talented. 😀
    You’re lucky that Larissa is just a train ride away. When my daughter got married last year I lived too far to go with her to choose her dress … and was only able to get a week’s leave

    1. Ups and downs have a way of arriving in batches, don’t they, Rosie? I’ve got to get some pictures of the garden as it progresses – all our neighbors are raving about all the amazing work Brother #4 is doing outside, and it will look beautiful for many years to come, a lasting legacy, about as far as things will last on earth, anyway.

      That’s too bad that you couldn’t go with your daughter to pick out her dress, but I bet you made the most of the week that you did have together. Dima & Larisa will be moving to North Carolina a month after the wedding, so I will soon have two children living far away down south… (Nate & Shea moved to Georgia.)

  4. Cancer is such a terrible disease 🙁 We lost one of our aunt last week, due to cancer. It makes life hard. Such a harsh situation.
    Well, reading about your daughters wedding preparations somehow filled my heart. I wish to see her in her Bridal gown. I can imagine.

    1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear aunt, Sonali. It’s very true, cancer is a cruel disease – it’s presence in the lives of our loved ones stirs up our deepest fears and hangs a very dark cloud over our heads.

      Larisa’s wedding is June 15th so you will probably being seeing pictures of her gown on this blog very soon after that date! 🙂

  5. A bride in little over a month? My goodness, time is sure flying. How cool that you were up in NYC. I have been fantasizing that I might unexpectedly fly in and surprise my daughter. Can’t quite figure out the logistics and the expense though…

    1. It was a fun day in the Big Apple, taking in the sights and sounds of the fabric district and seeing and feeling the anticipation my daughter is experiencing. My friend Janet came with me on the train – I would never dare travel to NYC alone – but it would be fun to hear how you pull off a surprise visit to your daughter, if you do!!!

      1. Ahhh, I had read this before, but it didn’t stick that it was Tim’s brother who had cancer and was living with you. That must be so challenging for you and Tim. Hugs…

        1. Thank you, Kathy, it is challenging, an emotional roller-coaster. Making great efforts to sit with my feelings, observe them and forget the story-line and move on…

  6. The harshness and joyfulness of life all at once. I am so sorry about Tim’s brother and cousin – Sending prayers your family’s way. And that beautiful garden angel is watching over you all. So glad to hear Zoe and even Olga are adjusting (they both seem to know how they are needed). And that is wonderful that your daughter is making her dress – how very special! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. XO

    1. Thank you so much, Diane. The angel usually sits on the sideboard in our dining area, but that day seemed like a good one to take her outside for a photo. 🙂 I’m finding the pictures I take inside are usually less than satisfactory and am far more pleased with the pictures I take outside, if that makes any sense. So I’m very happy that Larisa’s wedding will be outside – we’re just hoping it won’t rain that day!

  7. You must be going through such a mixture of emotions. Sadness and joyfulness and everything in between. I am so sorry about Tim’s brother and cousin. I hope your tree is helping to keep you rooted while still reaching for the sky. *Hugs*
    And thank you for the book recommendation! I added it to my reading list.

    1. Thank you, Robin. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and we’re trying our best to handle it all with grace. It’s been over a week since I last visited Grandmother Elm but I hope to get over to see her and refill myself with her spirit this upcoming three-day weekend. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did, when its turn comes to be read. 🙂

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