The Next Chapter…..

I thought it would be harder to leave my garden.   This is my third move since my divorce in 2001, and each time, I bring pieces of my garden with me to my new home.  The house that I am leaving in Lewin’s Cove, has the most extensive gardens that I have ever created.  I lived there with my three children for nearly 13 years.  I put my heart and soul in to those gardens.   Gardening was the therapy that got me through Ben’s diagnosis of autism and my own diagnosis of cancer.  It healed me on many levels.  I remember, for example, setting tulip bulbs in the fall of 2011, with the hopes that I would be alive in the spring to see them bloom.  Those bulbs continue to reward me with their vibrant colors every spring and remind me of the power of hope! 

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With over 100 varieties of perennials, it is difficult to remember where I got all of my plants.  Many of them came from my mother’s garden.  Then there is the baby’s breath from Jennifer; the red astilbe from Mrs. Jarvis, and the black eyed Suzies from my Aunt Mag.  Each of these women have passed on, but a piece of them lives on in my garden, and will travel with me to my new garden. 

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Driving to St. John’s yesterday, with Steve’s truck loaded down with as many plants as I could fit in there, I felt happy.   I expected to feel sad, leaving the home where I raised my children, and the garden that is so dear to me.  But I am so ready to begin this new chapter of my life!   The U-2 song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, was playing on the radio.  And it occurred to me:  I HAVE found what I have been looking for!   It took me nearly 50 years, but I feel that my life now is just the way I want it.  I have found a wonderful partner, and for the first time since my divorce, I will actually share my home with a man!  

Steve excels in the three “A’s”, as I call them.  He is ATTENTIVE.   I know as soon as his helicopter lands (he is a pilot) because the first thing he does is text me.  When we are apart, he will text me as soon as his eyes open in the morning,  and last thing before falling asleep, so that even when we are not together, we are connected.  He is AFFECTIONATE.  He likes to hold my hand, cuddle and rub my feet.  (I would keep him around for the foot rubs alone!)   He is APPRECIATIVE.   He takes nothing for granted and appreciates everything that I do for him.  Most important though, is how gentle and caring he is with Ben. Having a son of his own who has autism, gives him so much understanding of Ben’s needs.   I am excited that this move allows me to share my life more fully with this wonderful man!

Then there are my children.  Kaitlyn and Donovan, I am very proud to say, are both attending University in St. John’s, so my move brings me closer to them.  They have their own apartments, but live close by.  In fact Kailtyn lives on the same street as me!   I love to call her up in the morning and say, “ Pop by before school so that we can have breakfast together.”   For Ben, there are so many more opportunities for him in the city.  He loves being part of the Rainbow Riders Therapeutic Horse Riding program, for example.  He is also closer to his favorite store, the Value Village, where he can buy his beloved DVDs at a discount.

I wondered, with Ben’s limited language skills, if he really understood the permanency of the move.  He loves weekends in St. John’s, but also loves going home to Lewin’s Cove.  Yesterday as the moving truck was being packed, he walked through the house saying, “Bye house.  No more house.  House is closed.  Going to Ben’s and Mommy’s new house for 100 sleeps.”   (For Ben, that means a very long time!)   He was happy and very excited to hit the road and when we arrived at our new home, I knew that he felt AT HOME.  

I am very happy to be starting this new chapter, and as I gaze out into the mess that is my back yard, I visualize it as a blank canvas ready to be painted into a thing of beauty; a tiny, peaceful oasis for me and my family. 

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20 thoughts on “The Next Chapter…..

    • Thank you! Life is very good now, but just as I tell myself, “This too shall pass” when times are rough, I remember too that “this too shall pass” when life seems perfect. That is why we really need to appreciate the good times!

  1. Welcome to town, Flo, and Congratulations! I am a happy woman for you. I know what you mean by planting tulips in the fall. I plant them every year with the same hope; that I will still be here to seem them bloom from the earth in springtime, a ritual that brings so much hope and meaning…Wishing you and yours many beautiful blessings!

  2. Florence it has been many moons since we were in grad school together and many ups and downs since for us all. Love your strength and the peace you seek in everything you do. Welcome to St John’s and a new chapter. Wishing you the best always.

  3. You are the flower in your garden Florence Strang! and you will bloom wherever you go and for a very long time. As they say if you plant it, it will grow. You are an amazing humanitarian, friend and soul sister. I am so happy for you and your family. Steve is a very fortunate man and sounds perfect. Blissful blessings to all of you as you begin another chapter in your book of life. Hugs my friend.

  4. Good Luck Florence in your new home and new beginning. The old saying is true, ” never a door closes that a window doesn’t open”…..fly through the window Florence with wings spread wide apart, it is only then we will know the sense of true freedom. Many blessings to you and your family now and in the future! xxoo

  5. im happy for you Flo,even if i did break your stove,and ill always say your mother DID .it…….many blessings in your new home

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