Through tears. I am sure this will be the hardest newsletter I will ever write. Our family has been greatly comforted by the outpouring of love from everyone. Reading the many stories has put smiles on our faces, but they bring more tears as well. I think for Nigel’s parents it has shown them, in a very real way, the impact their son has had on our world here in Northern California. For me personally, I know what great a man my husband was. We both knew what a great team we made, and how much of an impact we had and would have “once he was better”.
It is hard to come to a full stop after so many years. Nigel and I are both fighters, so it feels almost impossible to be at the end of this road. It’s like running full speed and you are expected to stop immediately because the road came to an abrupt end. Instead you run right into a solid wall of pain.
Nigel’s was a life that was cut far too short. He really had such passion for our land, our crew, our community, and the right way of doing things. He kept researching farming techniques, equipment (and sailing) right until the very end. Some of his most clear words near the end were strawberries, lavender and tomatoes. It was so obvious his mind was still working the farm, even as his brain was taken over by cancer.
Thankfully the end did come rather quickly. Nigel had been doing quite well for the last couple of weeks; eating, drinking, we had his pain under control. Everything changed Friday night, but he slept through most of it and quietly and without any warning he just stopped. I had the feeling he quietly went down, down into the ground that is his beloved farm. So I hold onto the fact that his energy lives on with us, all around the farm.
How do we honor such a man? Nigel and I do not follow any religion, so there will not be a service. His children and I have decided to wait on a full memorial to honor his life until next summer. Quite frankly, I need the space of time to do something I feel is worthy of him. I want to be fully present and not so overwhelmed by grief. He deserves something special and impactful and I can’t even begin to think about the specifics of an event like that. In the meantime I am making the Care Share a fund in honor of his memory, and hope to really get that launched. I am hoping it will have grown tremendously so that next summer we can celebrate the work we are continuing in his honor. And it gives our family from England a beautiful reason to all come together here at the farm one more time.
I do know that Nigel impacted many of your lives and lots of you will want to have an opportunity to celebrate his life. We have more summer events coming up and I can assure you that all of them will be perfect times to do that. I know this will be a summer filled with stories and memories and probably quite a few tears. Please come to the farm and do that. It was truly Nigel’s greatest joy to have his CSA members sitting around a campfire, just hanging out, talking, sometimes playing music, watching kids get excited about burning marshmallows. Please know that we always considered this your farm as much as it is ours, if you want to come up to camp any time this summer just let Noelle know ahead of time. The farm is here for you to connect with and enjoy.
Cameron and I will have so much on our plates the next few months. I would like to enlist your help with the newsletter by asking for some stories from our members. Your stories about your experiences on the farm, or cooking meals from the box, how you came to be a part of Eatwell would make a lovely addition to our newsletter and help us with our social media campaign. Pictures if you have them are really great! We will try to keep stories relevant to the season, so we might hold onto some until the appropriate time, but please feel free to email them in - firstname.lastname@example.org.