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Try Saving What Matters Most

After five years, the rose bushes we planted along the sidewalk leading to our front porch have rewarded our hard work with hundreds of pink and red flowers. I am no horticulturist by any means. I just like to have flowers around to remind me of the greater power that makes these beautiful flowers possible.

The rose garden began with a few spindley plants that I picked up at Lowe’s. These plants were of the knock-out rose bush species. I simply enjoyed a great bargain on three plants that were headed for the dumpster. Little did I know how much I would be rewarded for saving them.

When I brought them home, I had to convince my other half that they were worth planting. And so the rose garden was readied and the plants inserted into the ground. I had my doubts that first year as the fall and winter freezes were tough on the plants. They looked like a sad pile of sticks poking out of the snow.

But then spring came and so did the new growth of green stems. Slowly but surely, the rose bushes produced the most unexpected harvest of flowers. The first few plants were then paired with the Mother’s Day rose bushes son Jamie gave me. Now eight bushes line the sidewalk making it a path fit for royalty in my humble opinion.

One of the bushes I originally planted appears to be a variety not like the others. Its leaves are more feathered. It is smaller and the flowers are not quite as abundant or large as the other plants. Yet it hangs right in there with the others.

Business can be like that. You cultivate a company, a service, not really knowing what to expect in return. For decades, we have been spoiled in this valley with three major, reliable hospitals between Wheeling and Martins Ferry. Now there is one major facility in Wheeling.

It’s almost unfathomable. It’s definitely a tragedy for the loss of jobs, the additional health care services and peace of mind. I don’t pretend to know all that has gone into the demise of Ohio Valley Medical Center. I just know the impact will be hard and swift, especially with the loss of mental health services it provided.

My father’s childhood home in Center Wheeling was demolished to make way for the construction of OVMC many years ago. While that was hard on the German families that had settled there, they also had faith in the benefits the new hospital would bring.

I’d like to think that somewhere in the shadow of that hospital, there is someone willing to save it, someone willing to take a chance on something that once was held in high esteem.

If I can save some sad looking roses bushes, surely there is hope for something as important as another hospital in Wheeling.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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