For those of you who have been following my blog, you may remember a couple posts mentioning my neighbor Wilson. Wilson of course is not his real name but since he lives on the opposite side of the fence, I gave him the name Wilson (Tool Time). Well Wilson loves to garden just as much as I do. We often share seeds, excess plants and sometimes exchange tips and tricks. Yesterday as I was working to rearrange my garden, Wilson came over with these gifts. With the seeds that he starts each year, he has a goal to have at least 50% of what he starts succeed. Well his seeds did fantastic this year and he had excess.
What do you know, he thought I was the perfect candidate to receive the extra. These are the gifts that I love. All heirloom tomatoes, he gave me 3 Red Fig, 3 Red Pear (his favorite), and 2 Mortgage Lifters.
The gift goes further than just 8 plants. Wilson was diagnosed with lung cancer over the winter. Last year, Wilson seemed healthy and energetic. Once it turns cold, we don't see much of our neighbor. So not knowing that he was battling cancer, what we saw when he emerged puzzled us. He was sporting an oxygen tank and was obviously bald under his hat. The coughs we heard coming from his house now had more meaning than just a simple cold. Now, he gets out of breath when he walks across our yard.
Wilson's chemo seemed to be going well up until last week when his oncologist found more, fast progressing lumps in his opposite lung. She told him that the current chemo wasn't working and that she would do her best to find a trial treatment that he could participate in. As much as it breaks my heart to say it, things do not look good for Wilson. Although he has remained optimistic.
So as I pray for Wilson, in the back of my mind, I know that these tomatoes that he gave me will be a constant reminder of my dear neighbor...no matter what happens. As I save the seeds for next year and the next year and beyond. I will always remember that the red pear is his favorite. I will remember the story he told me about the mortgage lifters. These tomato plants, to me, are a enormous gift, one that carry on as long as I let it.