I am a tomato. Not literally, but figuratively. This spring, shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Morgan, I started a container garden on our patio. I planted lettuce, peppers, green beans, and tomatoes. By the summer, both the lettuce and green beans had petered out. The peppers were producing like crazy. The tomatoes grew into these lush green plants, and finally produced some tomatoes. The tomatoes were spaced too closely, and grew miniature tomatoes, even though they were full sized tomato species. The first several were ruined by tomato blossom end rot, but we did get enough to toss in a salad. My husband even put some in a pasta dish.
It was a hot summer, and it was a chore to keep the tomatoes with enough water. When we came home from the hospital after losing Morgan, the pepper plants were droopy, but OK. The tomato plants were completely brown, dry, and crunchy. Even so, there were a few tomatoes that managed to ripen over the next few days. We assumed the tomato plants were past the point of no return, and paid them no more attention.
Today, I looked out the window and saw this:
Nearly six weeks without water, and there were two grape sized tomatoes. Plump and bright red, they were a striking contrast to the brown stems. I am those tomatoes. Like them, the past six weeks have been the hardest of my life. We gave up on those plants when our baby died. At the time, I wanted to die, too. But like the tomatoes, gathering strength, energy, and sustenance from who knows where, I'm still here. I'm still alive, and fighting, every day.
It's September now, and even the most well tended tomatoes would be winding down now. I will keep going, but this picture of the tomato will be a reminder of the inner strength that I possess.