We interrupt our Tomato Tastings to bring you news of Hanna’s life…
I don’t often share the intimate details of my life with this audience. You may know when I lose a dear one or that my children have started school. But beyond these small details, my garden blog is dedicated to… well… gardening things.
Today, I need to share with you one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make in my life. And I can say that with 100% honesty. Nothing was harder than this.
Several years ago, my husband shared with me that he had wanted to join the military. Like any sane wife, I said “Absolutely not.â€ After all, babies are hard to raise and I certainly did not want to be raising them by myself if I could help it.
But babies grow up and this year they are all grown up enough to go away to school, for the entire day. My husband did not ask, but did look at me imploringly with very convincing puppy eyes. (He has amazingly convincing puppy eyes.) And after saying no like at least 20 more times, I finally said yes.
And so my husband and I decided that he would join the National Guard reserves. After a massive diet and exercise program, a small letter writing campaign, and 2 months of back and forth with a lovely recruiter who seemingly goes only by the one name “Santiagoâ€, at 11:15AM today, my husband was sworn in as a member of the National Guard.
He will leave me April 7, 2009Â for a little over 6 months for basic and specialty training. In this current political climate, it also means that it is inevitable that he will be called up for active duty where he will eventuallyÂ be away for much longer. Right now, I considerÂ basic to be the training wheels version of deployment.
Since this is a gardening blog, I have to relate this back to gardening, right? Well, what it comes down to is that I will be losing half of myself. While my husband is not an active gardener, as many couples will tell you, your other is an essential part of your garden regardless.
They may do the heavy work, they may lend a helping hand in the creation of yard and project and they may even be an active participant in building a garden masterpiece. But the most important part is that they are an ear. They listen patiently to your triumphs and tribulations, no matter how trivial. They understand that your need to vent about vine borers and slugs is essential to your mental gardening well being. They happily open their mouths and accept the communion of our gardens, whether it be a freshly picked zucchini or a still warm tomato. They understand us. That is what a gardener spouse does better than anything in the world.
And I will lose mine right at thatÂ most importantÂ time of spring. For the gardening year 2009, I will turn to ask him to mow the lawn or try this fabulous tomato and I will find that he will not be there. He will be in Missouri, doing drill or shooting a gun. Which is so far from my garden on so many levels…
So where does this go? Why did we do this if it hurts so much? Because at the end of the day or a lifetime, a person should be able to stand up and regret only the things they did, not the things they did not. The one hope is that in living like this, you have nothing at all to regret when everything is said and done.