Tuesday, May 20, 2014


[Blog entry created by Mark Bonnema]
New crop of flowers

It was a beautiful day here yesterday in Sioux Falls, SD. We took advantage of it by going out and buying some flowers.  If you have ever been to our backyard in the summer, you know that we tend to go a little flower and herb crazy. We fill every square inch of our backyard with pots, buckets, chicken feeders, bushel baskets, old dresser drawers, hollowed out tree trunks, old suitcases, and any other receptacle we can find with a myriad of colorful annual flowers and herbs. Ashley is and always has been the mastermind of our backyard garden creations. I merely have to help transport them to and from the car and take all the pots into storage at the end of the season, otherwise I sit back and enjoy. 

Typically it is a delight to watch Ashley stroll the aisles at the flower shop (at least for the first hour or so…). But yesterday I could tell Ashley was pushing herself to keep going by the end of the day. Ashley was tired, sore, and fatigued. When flower shopping becomes a chore, Ashley’s health is most certainly compromising her vitality.

Often by this time of year we are enjoying the first blossoms of our perennial plants and the trees are in full leaf. This year, however, with an abnormally windy and cold spring, the plants are sluggish and behind schedule. We keep wondering if some of our plants have died, or have yet to break dormancy for the year. At a time when our backyard gardenscape should be coming to life, we wait, watching hopefully for our garden to regain its vitality.

We have always taken our vitality for granted. Never in the six years that we have lived in our home have we waited with such longing and anticipation for the first blossoms and flowers of spring to break forth. We also have never had to wonder if Ashley will have the energy and stamina to plant the annuals and herbs at the end of the day when the rest of life’s work is done.

Last Year's Beauty
We do not have to hold out a great deal of hope that the season will turn, the weather will improve, and the full force of spring will descend onto Sioux Falls. The forecast for this upcoming week already looks much improved. We will probably even have to turn on our air conditioner by midweek! We hold out the same kind of hope for Ashley’s health and vitality. She will get through this set back as though it were merely an unseasonable stretch with the promise of “normal” waiting just around the corner.

But with every unseasonable stretch of health, our hope is tested. “What if’s” grow larger with every setback. What if this infection does not subside? What if the antibiotics affect Ashley’s nervous system, liver, or kidneys again? What if they don't work? What if her energy and vitality do not return as quickly or to the same extent as before? Unfortunately, Ashley’s health is not as steady or predictable as the seasons. We cannot always assume that things will turn for the better or return to normal like the seasons.

Pergola last year

I hope and pray this current setback is soon nothing more than a memory, like the unseasonably cold spring. The love, support, and kindness of so many wonderful family, friends, and healthcare team members helps more than you will ever know! Thank you all.

Last year

Tomorrow is another day. There are flowers to plant! Make the most of your vitality today, and watch it blossom tomorrow!

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