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Full Harvest

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My days were full. Like countless moms, I changed diapers, read bedtime stories and cleaned spilled food off the floor. I shuttled kids to preschool, play dates, scouts, gymnastics and catechism. School plays, sports activities and orthodontist appointments crowded our calendar. I prayed for patience while sowing seeds of love and faith in my children. Looking back, at times it all seems like a blur. But the months and years passed and I was so proud to watch our four kids grow up and begin lives of their own. Now eight little ones call me Mimi and clamor to sit on my lap for a story. In this season of my life, I am immensely grateful for my full harvest.

“Life is messy,” one of my friends is fond of saying, and it’s true. Often things do not go as planned and I realize that I am not the one in control. I lost a sister and two nephews to drug addiction. During the pandemic, my husband was hospitalized with severe COVID and I was afraid he was not going to make it home. But thankfully he recovered and is back to his active retirement life. Two years ago, my father passed away after a lengthy decline, and I was privileged to hold his hand until the end. Shortly after that, we received the gut-wrenching news that our then two-year-old grandson, Aiden, had a golf-ball sized mass at the base of his brain. He underwent surgery and miraculously it was found to be a rare and benign tumor. Today he is a healthy four-year-old, and his infectious smile lights up the room. These heartaches, the ups and downs in the path of my life, have made me appreciate the gift of every single day. I am grateful for the love and support of my family and friends through all of it.

As I was thinking about gratitude and writing this story, I remembered the final line of my favorite childhood read, Little Women. To be sure I quoted it correctly, I dug out the well-worn copy that belonged to my mother when she was young. Mrs. March is sitting on the grass surrounded by her daughters and grandchildren, and proclaims “Oh my girls, however long you may live, I can never wish you a greater happiness than this.” This Thanksgiving, with my mom, my husband, my children and grandchildren gathered around the table, I understand exactly how she felt. A full
harvest indeed.


Laurie Eager is the author and illustrator of In Papa’s Garden. A seeker of beauty every day, she works part time as an interior designer, loves adventure travel, all things French and dark chocolate. She lives in Stockton with her husband, Steve, and can be found most mornings enjoying a cup of coffee and the first rays of sunshine in their abundant vegetable garden.