For John Grove (Choices In Community Living) there are special memories associated with his garden in the back yard of his Huber Heights home. They are the memories of the mother he lost last year. When there is too much sadness thinking of her loss or when it’s not been the best of days, he goes to his garden, sits on the bench, looks at the garden sign and there finds a measure of comfort.
John has had a long-time interest in gardening in all its aspects, from planting to maintenance to the last of each season when there is the harvest. He and his roommates live in a home that is operated by Choices In Community Living. While his housemates don’t have any interest in gardening, John has shared with his staff how much he likes it. They helped him prepare for his garden, which included two community volunteers who made the raised beds for him. This season he has planted radishes, carrots and cucumbers. He is looking forward to sharing them with his roommates for many dinners to come.
He first tried his hand at gardening last year but it didn’t grow as he had hoped it would. There was something different this year, as can be seen in how well his “crops” are doing. Still grieving the loss of his mother, his Program Administrator Chrystal Goines bought him a plaque in her honor and was with him as he placed it in his garden in her memory. His garden is now a place of comfort for him. He enjoys the hard work – all the mulching and weeding. What he enjoys most is sitting by himself on a beautiful summer afternoon where there is stillness and plants growing and that sign to help him focus and to remember. It is those memories that are making this one garden grow this summer. It is those memories in the quiet time that surround John, those memories and the support of Chrystal and his staff who continue by his side. What makes a garden grow? What makes this one small garden grow are the memories and the promises – memories of loss tinged still with sadness – promises of acceptance and of the harvest yet to come.