So I am sad to share this news, but in memory of a great plant lover, co-owner of one of America’s largest nurseries, Plant Delights, and supporter and beloved wife to one of the greatest plantsman of all time (Tony Avent)….I am sad to say Michelle Avent, 55,  has passed away after her 4-year battle with breast cancer.

Michelle and Tony met while working at Mission Valley Movie Theater in Raleigh…I have had a many of popcorn there. After that first meeting, they became soul mates for life. Together, they worked side by side to fulfill a dream – Plant Delights Nursery.

But as Tony will admit and wrote in a letter to his customers, it wasn’t easy to support someone obsessed with a dream like him–a dream to have a horticulture paradise – now materialized as Plant Delights Nursery. Tony says that while Michelle was hesitant, she dove in head first and offered some of the fundamental business knowledge needed to get the Nursery off the ground – you know the boring stuff you try to forget while you are in the garden — business systems, publishing platforms, and office set up and management.

I remember her always at the Plant Delights cash register when I visited one of many Plant Delights open houses.  She was reserved, but had a delightful smile and a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

When I heard, I cried.  I admit it.  Mostly because of the perspective it gave me…recently, I have been worried about silly things and reflecting on this untimely death of a wonderful women, helped me see beyond the small stuff and be thankful.

I am sure we will all agree, cancer sucks.  So I encourage you to donate to your favorite cancer organization, be that V-Foundation for Cancer Research, The Susan B. Komen Foundation, or UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in memory of Michelle Avent.