Friday, July 22, 2022

Bloom Where You’re Planted

 Mike planted several different kinds of flowers in our front yard. I’d seen them at the store where they looked beautiful, with bright futures. I bet some hoped to be planted in a botanical garden while others longed to be in a nature preserve. Yet, the poor ones we purchased, ended up in our pathetic flowerbed. We do our best, but most things we plant out front…die.

So, last year I studied the perennials and thought, “If doctors are right, these flowers and I have something in common; none of us will see next year.”

At that moment a truck pulled up. Braydon stepped out with his dad. Braydon is one of the coolest, nicest kids in the whole d*mn world. He feels like an adopted son, and all of us adore him because he’s such a great person.

He actually lived with us for a bit in 2019 and 2020. It’s funny that we originally just wanted to help him, but what he did was help us. In fact, he came into our lives when we needed him most.

Anyway, I had never met Braydon’s dad, Shane, before that day. And I could hardly wait to shake his hand and tell him what an amazing son he has!

After I introduced myself and gave Braydon a huge hug, Shane whispered, “I hear you’re fighting cancer…” You can tell he’s a really conscientious guy who didn’t want to bring up the topic if I didn’t want to talk about it.

I nodded. “Yeah,” I said. “It’s been rough. Last year, doctors gave me two years to live. So I’ve already spent up half of my time.”

“Well, I…” he paused, “I brought you something.” And he dug into his pocket and handed me a coin. 

I raised a brow.

“This might not seem like something special, but it’s lucky. I’ve won thousands of dollars when I’ve had it on me. It’s kept me safe when I could’ve gotten hurt. And now, I want you to keep it—just until you get better.”

“But what if I don’t get better?” I said reluctantly. “Shane, I can’t take this.”

“Hey, now, you are gonna get better! Because you need to give this back to me.”

I broke out laughing and so did Braydon.

“It might seem strange, but I felt like I should give it to you—and it’s the best thing I have to offer because I know it’ll help.”

I glanced over to the flowers Mike had just planted and that saying came to mind: Bloom where you’re planted.

I held the coin tightly. Blooming where you’re planted means to always do your best—no matter where you’re at in life. This kind man wanted to do something for me despite my circumstances, and he offered me this amazing gift—a token he carried all the time. I had to take the coin.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll give this back…when I get better.”

Time passed. And when I’ve been at my lowest or thought I might never be cancer-free, I’ve held the coin in my hand and thought, “I need to get better. I made a promise to give this coin back.”

It might sound silly, but it’s been a reminder to wipe my tears, stand strong, and buck up! 

Anyway, today I got home from my 3-day marathon of doctors visits this week. It’s been crazy adjusting to hope and the fact that I might actually beat this. After all, if things continue this way, the rest of the cancer could die, and I might be able to stop treatments in October! 

I thought about this as I pulled into my driveway and realized the perennials Mike planted last year had come back to life and bloomed! Not just that, but instead of looking pathetic and dead, parts of our yard actually seem like a beautiful garden. 

Bloom where you’re planted. 

I thought about how I’ve had to do that, making the best of what time I have left, blindly having faith that God has put me where I’m supposed to be. I didn’t choose to have cancer, become disabled from surgeries and treatments, or begin a fight for my life. But just like Shane did last year, I’ve tried to use what I can to give my best to the people around me. We can find the good in our circumstances, and right now, I’m happy for hope.

I’m so excited for October so I can call Braydon and Shane to tell them it’s time to give the coin back.

I guess the point is that you never know how your situation might be used to help someone else. I never knew what a huge blessing Braydon would be in our lives or how his dad would give me a coin that could help me muster strength throughout my battle with cancer.

I’m gonna bloom right where I’m at. Sure, life didn’t go exactly how I expected, but I’ve become a better person because of the soil and conditions God chose to plant me in. 

Thank goodness life doesn’t always go according to plan. I am still the luckiest: I have God, good doctors, AND this coin!

P.S. I tried to take pictures of the flowers, but our cat, Nova, stole the show. I give up 🤣

Here’s the lucky coin Shane gave me in 2021.