Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Last Summer it appeared that my mom had fought and beat lung cancer. In February of 2011 she was in intensive care at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. Doctors told us that she was, "holding on to the edge of a cliff."  I stayed with her for several days, sleeping in a recliner and praying. I asked God to give her more time. I just wanted to see her in the garden one more time. We had plans. Greenhouse plans. Seeds in the dirt plans.

Well, God gave her another Spring. Her pop-up greenhouse came out of the garage and we ordered seeds. As soon as they opened for business we were in the local greenhouse picking out flowers for the house gardens and even more peppers to be sure we had an abundant crop.

July came and she was doing great. In the heat of the summer she was in the garden, meticulously weeding each and every hot pepper plant that my buddy Paul and I put into the ground. She picked zucchini and loved the bread that it turned in to. One early morning I woke up and drove out to the garden without her. I thought she needed some rest. When I arrived back at the house before 9 a.m. I could tell she was mad. She grumbled to me that I should have woke her up. She was right, I should have.

In September of 2011 her leg became increasingly sore and we thought that it was the result of arthritis. Then, one night as she was walking down the hall to her bedroom her Femur snapped. Luckily I was there to help her while my wife called 9-1-1. Our daughter took our son to the basement playroom as the paramedics came and helped us. They were wonderful people.

Unfortunately the Cancer was back. It made its way through her blood and into her bone, weakening it so badly that it snapped. Since that night it's been a battle.

Tonight my mom is back at SUNY Upstate. She's in the care of great doctors and a greater God. I want to ask for another Spring.

So it is that my first batch of Handcrafted Hot Sauce came from those plants. From plants cared for by one of the greatest women to walk the Earth. I have one bottle left and haven't been able to open it. It won't last forever I suppose.

I'm not sure if building a locally-grown-handcrafted-hot-sauce empire is the right way to honor the woman who gave me life. Then again, she seems to like the idea. Would it be too much to ask for her to see it happen? I suppose that's not for me to know right now. All I can do is ask.

Stuff means different things to different people. I guess I felt like some how I needed to express what all this stuff means to me. Thanks for reading. We're all just seeds in the dirt.

I Love You Ma.

Views: 181

Comment by Jen Garrison on February 7, 2012 at 11:25pm

For many people food is love.  It is this visceral, pure, joyous form of care and affection.  I can't think of a better way to honor her and your gardening connection than to keep it going.  Best of luck.

Comment by Cornelia on February 8, 2012 at 9:30am


Comment by Cornelia on February 8, 2012 at 9:30am


Comment by Marianne Smith on February 8, 2012 at 9:39am

I always think about my granny when I'm in the garden.  It was her wisdom and encouragement that piqued my interest in gardening.  My gran passed away 5 years ago and I think of her daily.  Good luck with your hot sauce empire.

Comment by Stacey on February 8, 2012 at 9:46am

Thank you for sharing your story. 

Comment by Yvonne on February 8, 2012 at 10:32am

Thanks Aaron for sharing such deep and personal thoughts. I'm right there with you. The reason from my move from corporate life to where I am now, was to help my Dad after my Mum had multiple strokes. In June 2007, I dared to wish for one more Christmas with her....she just had her fourth!  A little weaker, a little older, but still with us. We can never know what will be, but can cherish every moment that we have and what better way to spend time with a loved one, than literally growing a future.  

Comment by Amy Hickel on February 8, 2012 at 11:00am

what a beautiful sentiment for your mom. My dad passed away from colon cancer 4 years ago and I think back to him loving laboring in his vegetable garden, celebrating his trimuph over the tomato demons and forcing zucchini on everyone that entered the house all the time. This year my partner and I are doing our first garden and all I can think about is how much I wish he were here to answer all the questions I have! Much love to you and your family! 

Comment by Aaron Hart on February 9, 2012 at 7:43pm

Thanks everyone for the kind words and for sharing your own experiences. Tonight - we bottle the official prototype batch. Stay tuned!

Comment by David P. McMillen on February 9, 2012 at 7:53pm

Man, that was moving! That is so cool you have found a way to let her live on. Good luck with all you do brother!

Comment by Margaret V on February 24, 2012 at 6:13pm

Great story! I truly know your pain...,Thanks for sharing.


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