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It's funny to me, how a simple seed can tell a story. Each and every year as I am planting and starting thousands of seeds, I sit and wonder what will your story be?

In 2011 my now husband and I welcomed our first child, Owen. Becoming a mom wasn't how I pictured it in my mind. In fact nothing went as "planned". We became parents to a child with medical complexity, severe medical complexity. We spent late march until November

18th in a dark corner of a hospital

until we finally were able to bring our sweet boy home. I couldn't return to work, nor could I travel. It's something that broke me for years. I loved my job. It's where I finally felt appreciated and valued in the workforce. I always wanted to work. So here on our farm, I decided to grow a few things. I did this for quite a few years and they were activities that Owen could take on. He would lay in the shade with his feeding pump and airway. He got to hear the birds sing and see what I thought was a beautiful garden full of color. I on the other hand would get a little me time. It wasn't until one day when we were packing him for a stay at our local children's hospice that I cut a few flowers for staff. Upon arrival I handed them to a nurse on the floor and she placed them in a vase on the counter. I didn't know the impact that flowers would have but as I sat in the next room unpacking Owen's belongings for his stay, staff members joining the floor would say loudly "OH MY these are lovely" "Who brought this beautiful arrangement?"

Those comments ignited a fire in me. Finally after years of struggling with the emotion of not being able to go back to work I felt like I could make this work. I dove deep into learning online and my first year I surprised myself with what I could achieve all while caring for Owen.

Last year I eagerly started seeds ready to take on more than the year previous. But in a blink of an eye life changed in March. As I was getting ready to plant those dreams into the ground, Owen was getting ready to take our life on a different journey. We would spend the next 5 weeks in hospice. He wasn't expected to come home but on Easter Sunday he did. It wasn't because his "issues" resolved but it was because the doctors felt he had a little more time. While I worked on trusting he would be "ok" to leave unattended for short times we continued to plant some of those dreams. In early summer we planted 15,000 sunflowers with him. We never anticipated he would be here to

see the harvest but he surprised us all and made it to the harvest day. We raised $22,000 in a weekend for his hospice. So many of the people that follow our story coming out to help our little boy cut, wrap and hand flowers to customers.

For me a simple seed planted doesn't just grow a yummy vegetable, fruit or beautiful flower. They connected me to a community of people who continue to allow me to share in their story, their celebrations and their life. Reflecting back I didn't need a different introduction into motherhood because that beautiful seed that arrived in 2011 blossomed a love and desire to help, to grow and share.

In December of 2022 in the evening hours our sweet boy took his last breath. While he might be gone from me physically he gave me life to grow in so many ways. He was the crop that taught me the most.

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Patricia Rogers
Patricia Rogers
Jul 17, 2023

oh my goodness...such a wonderful story of love!!!!

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