Every spring since he could remember, Carl had sown seeds in his backyard vegetable garden. An avid gardner, Carl took great pride every summer in providing fresh produce for his family.
When asked to share his “Three Most Important Things,” Carl grew very sad as he talked about the garden he wouldn’t be well enough to manage that summer. He worried that it would be too much for his wife to maintain as well.
A Caris volunteer offered to plant the garden for him, but Carl decided it would be more depressing to be able to see his garden, but not be able to work in it. His huge garden would be a reminder of what he could no longer manage in his decline.
As his Caris volunteers talked further with him, he said what would really make him happy was to taste fresh homegrown produce that summer – especially tomatoes and peppers, his favorites.
The volunteer elicited the help of another volunteer and together they grew a small vegetable patch of hearty tomatoes and peppers. Each time he tasted the freshly picked produce, he was reminded, not of what he could no longer manage, but of the many years he had nourished his family from his own backyard.