My paternal grandmother knew she had really "arrived" in America when, after many years of hard toil, the farm was doing well enough that she could afford to plant flowers and enjoy them. When her daughter died at age 12, she planted daisies.
My maternal grandmother raised 8 children during the depression and dust bowl days. She managed to sneak a few hardy flowers in with the veggies and I suspect those flowers fed her soul.
Many years later, my brother dealt in part with his PTSD after returning from Vietnam by gardening. He had a beautiful stand of daisies.
Gardening kept my mother going after my brother's suicide. She planted a wildflower patch that included ox eyed daisies. Then she built a pathway through it. Later, when she knew she was drifting into full-blown Alzheimer's disease, she became the world's best weeder of wild medians on her long daily walks. Eventually, she forgot the names of her many friends, relatives, and beautiful plants, but until the last few years, she continued to care for them all with steady hands.
Throughout all of my trials and tribulations, and there have been several, gardening has been my solace and my method of choice for centering myself and climbing out of depression. I don't grow daisies, but I grow everything drought hardy that will grow here. The mere fact that the soil is alive, even beneath the snow, reminds me that where there is life, there is always hope.
What an amazing family history! Your last statement summed up gardening through our grief so beautifully, ". . . the soil is alive, even beneath the snow, reminds me that where there is life, there is always hope."
Thank you so much for reading and posting your inspiring story,