And I don’t mean by a rosebush!
This post is all about me. I’m apologizing right now, because I should probably be talking about other things but I’m kind of transparent by nature so I can’t move on and get back to work here until I share this with you.
Last August I left my job as Bass River, Inc’s adaptive gardening specialist because I had a supervisor who just didn’t get gardening or my agreement with the agency about what my tasks were and how I would use my time based on the agreement.
And, he didn’t get me. At all.
So, very very sadly and abruptly, I had to go.
Then a few weeks later my mom died.
In September I found myself grieving… so much…
It was mostly for my mom, who at 82 had lived a very good life, but her illness and death happened quickly and unexpectedly. Loosing one’s mother at any age is one of the hardest things that we go through in this life.
But I was also grieving the loss of my job. I had loved it so much. I loved the men and women whom I served. I loved the ways that they responded to gardening and gardens and the work that we were able to do together. I loved that every day there was a moment when someone enjoyed a flower that they remembered from their past, or had a blast planting some seeds when they didn’t think they would. I loved all of it.
I couldn’t go back. The bridge was burnt and I was feeling too fragile to look much further. A few job prospects came and went, but nothing really stuck.
I spent the fall and winter taking care of my family and trying to get my head on straight.
I kept folding laundry and cooking and organizing things and Komari cleaning out the closets and the kitchen. I planned this year’s garden and started seeds.
Then one day a few weeks ago it was time to buy flowers for the front porch.
As I walked into the garden center I saw a friend working there who I had made when I took the individuals from Bass River shopping for plants. She immediately asked where they were and I told her my story. As I stood at the register paying for my purchase she was calling a regional manager to let him know that I was right there, and might be interested in working for his perennial supply company.
So, here I am with a new job. I’m working part time as a rep for a company that supplies perennials and tropical plants to a large chain store.
For the first few days I wasn’t at all sure that I’d last, but I think I might. The work is so physically hard. The more I push myself to do it, the more sure I am that it’s just what I need. I can feel some of the grief lifting. I can breathe and think more clearly. New thoughts are beginning to occupy the places where the what if’s and if only’s took over for so long.
I’m working with plants, thinking about plants and learning about plants, just what I like to do.
When things settle in and I can post more regularly I’m going to have a long list of new topics to blog about. The customer’s questions that I overhear and that are asked of me occasionally will make some great blog posts. Things like “what is the difference between a pansy and a petunia?” and “can you recommend a small bush that I don’t have to take care of and will grow in the shade, with rocks around it so I don’t have to cut any grass?”
It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure!
Thanks for indulging me and letting me share with you.
It’s time to plant and learn and feel good again. I truly believe that those three things go hand in hand.
Michele, I am so happy for you and very glad to hear you found something to start lifting you up where you belong. Congratulations and lots of luck, your new employer is very lucky to have you. xoxo
Thanks Diane! It feels good to be getting back on track! xoxo
Oh, the very best of luck Michele. I really hope it works out for you. It sounds good!
Michele you’re a beautiful human-being and I saw first hand the joy you brought the men and women at Bass River! It goes to show that the old cliche about doors closing and opening is true. It was meant to me. I wish you all the happiness in the world moving forward!
your garden friend,
Thank you Andrew, and you were one of the people who brought joy too and so much care to your work. It’s so sad that many of the people who really care need to move on. I believe in that cliche too.. I’m so excited about your new garden adventures, my new garden friend!
Congrats on your new job! Sounds like a dream job to me.
I can so relate, too. I lost my job of 20 years in February when my Dr. retired. The new Dr. didn’t get me either and we parted ways. After grieving for about a month, I am now enjoying the garden and beginning to take stock of what I want to do and do I do something different than my degree of 35 years. Your post was so timely! I’m so glad you are happy with the new job and I wish you all the best. You will be a great addition to the company!
I’m sorry that you had to experience that Brenda. It can wear you down on so many levels. I’m glad that you’re enjoying your garden as you think about what you want to do next. It’s the best place in the world to sort things out. Thanks for your encouragement! xoxo Michele
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Michele, thank you for sharing your journey so honestly and articulately. I’m glad God gave you those quieter months to process and to grieve your losses, and I’m delighted that you now have a new and exciting path to follow. Blessings …
Thanks Linda. I needed those quiet months and I’m grateful for them too. It’s good to move forward now. Thank you for always being there and cheering me on. You are one of the mother figures that I look to now in so many ways. Sending lots of love, Michele
Hi Michele, I’m so sorry for your loss. It must be so hard to lose your mom. And the stress from the job front; how horrible. I am so happy for you to have found something you enjoy! I wish you every success with it! (and I look forward to those blog posts when they do come) Xx Dana
Thanks Dana. It was very hard, but things are getting better. I hope I have time for some of those posts soon! I come home from work and collapse for the few minutes that I would have to write them! Hoping I get a bit stronger soon! xoxo
Oh, life does deal us some ups and downs doesn’t it? It always makes me think of that old saying – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but then again how strong does one have to be? I lost my Mom not too many years ago so I understand the grief and tried a lot of those ‘what ifs’ and periodically they still return. I’ve also lost a dream job so understand that as well. Your family support, return to gardening, and hopefully your caring blogging friends will help you to get your groove back. 🙂
Yes, all of those things… family, friends and gardening help Judy! I could stand to be a bit less stronger than I’ve been asked to be, that’s for sure.
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Thank you so much for opening your heart in this post, Michele. ♥ Such huge losses really do take a toll on our heart. The quiet months spent healing, thinking, remembering, and dreaming might have been the best medicine. Isn’t it amazing when unexpected, wonderful things happen? You are a blessing to your new company and I’m sure that they will very quickly discover your talents and passion for plants, gardening, and connecting with people. So many great possibilities for new blog posts, too! 🙂 The month of May will be a wonderful one in your heart and garden, Michele! Big hugs! ♡
Thank you Dawn! May does feel fresh and wonderful so far! Big hugs back to you!! xo
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Dear Michele…I just read this post today…my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your Mom…May her memory be eternal…I worked at Witchcraft for 5 years and had to leave my most favorite job ever…anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting your youngest…I so miss them all…now that I’m retired and they have moved up to middle school…Congratulations on your new position…you have to love what you do to truly be happy…I have a beautiful poem that a friend sent me when my Mom passed away that I will find and send you…It has to do with windchimes and beautiful memories. Be well…Stephanie
Thank you so much Stephanie. It has been a very difficult year, but we keep on going, don’t we? YOU are very missed at Witchcraft, especially by a little girl who I know well 😉 I hope that you’re enjoying your retirement. It is hard to move on sometimes, but it can work out in the end. Sending you lots of love from A and I, Michele