Mush Melons & Sand Bottles

From her childhood days Caris Healthcare RN Zonya Cureton remembers visits to her grandma’s house where a man selling produce would stop by to sell his goods.  He had the best mush melons.  He was a local farmer who sold home grown fruit and vegetables. Those tasty, colorful cantaloupes brightened Zonya’s family’s day. Many years later Zonya had the opportunity to return the favor.

Caris Healthcare began caring for this local farmer and Zonya was his primary nurse. Initially, she didn’t recognize him, but as they visited she vaguely recalled this gentleman’s mannerisms. A sa child he lost one of his legs in a shooting accident, and when Zonya got reacquainted she remembered him as that kind farmer who delivered fresh produce.

A friendship blossomed.  Each time she visited him they swapped stories.  She focused on his Three Most Important Things: trips to the beach, cooking like grandma did, and his career of selling produce door to door.  They talked about everything, from techniques for trapping wild game to sharing best practices for cooking vegetables.  He told her his secret recipe for fried squash.  Soon she tried it with zucchini from her own garden and brought him a generous helping. “I thought that my mama was cookin’ again,” he grinned.

A mountain man, at times he enjoyed visiting the beach, fishing from the piers, and people watching.  He hoped to go one more time.  When given the opportunity to visit Daytona Beach with his family, instead of sitting on the pier he asked that they take him into the sand.  Then he requested a shovel and bucket. His daughter questioned this uncharacteristic behavior. “I want to scoop some sand to bring back to my nurse, Zonya,” he replied.

He knew Zonya shared his love of the ocean, and he wanted to share a tangible memory of that joyful trip with her.  Upon his death Zonya received a photo of him at the ocean and a decorative bottle of sand in his remembrance.  From mush melons, to fried squash, to sand bottles the circle of sharing brought goodwill.