Megan Roth loves gardening, she loves planting flowers and vegetables in the ground, taking care of them and watching them grow.
But when the planting season came that spring, life was a curveball through them.
She was admitted to emergency surgery on March 30th, and found out she had ovarian cancer the day after Easter. A second operation would follow soon after.
The experience left her tired and weak, unable to exert the physical exertion required to get the gardens at her Richmond Township home working.
“I love gardening, but I couldn’t physically do it,” said Roth.
So she decided to hire a little help. Knowing that a friend of her son’s had worked for a landscaping company the previous summer, she called her mother to see if the junior from Fleetwood High School might be interested in a performance.
“I asked her mother if she would come over,” said Roth. “I wanted to pay her to do a little work for me.”
When the offer was forwarded to Megan Brattley, she shot it down. There is no way she would take any money from Roth, a woman who gives so much to the community and is a great pleasure to be here.
No, she wouldn’t take the job. She would do it for free.
“She’s going through a few things right now, I thought we’d give her something good,” Brattley said.
Brattley called some of her friends and asked if they would be willing to donate some work. On Saturday about half a dozen of them went to Roth’s house and spent the day cleaning, weeding, pruning, and planting.
“I was overwhelmed,” said Roth. “It is profound to receive things like this. It is not expected, they just did it because of that.
“I was overwhelmed.”
Roth said the willingness of a group of teenagers to give up a Saturday to help her was a perfect example of why she was so proud of the Fleetwood community. She is also proud that her eldest son, Owen, has such good friends.
“It’s palpable, the generosity and the caring and the just excellent people,” she said. “I’m proud that you are my son’s people.”
Brattley said she and her classmates who helped were thrilled to do so. You all know Roth and appreciate her very much.
“I was pretty excited to do it before we even did it,” she said. “When we did that, it felt so great to give something back to Ms. Roth. It made me happy to see her happy.”
Roth reported that the kids did a fantastic job and that their gardens look spectacular. She recognized Brattley’s efforts and said she would be a phenomenal leader going forward.
Despite her seemingly green thumb, Brattley said her future career is unlikely to include vegetation. Instead, she is planning something in the medical field.
“Landscaping is definitely going to be a hobby,” she said.