Person of the Week

Jenny Junk

Floral and garden designer/arranger

When you work in your garden, cut flowers, and make arrangements, you can overcome pain.

1.  What led you to the mission of being a floral and garden designer/arranger?

It started way back when I was working in a school.  One of the teachers, my mentor decided that I should teach all kinds of designs and how to make things with a class for sixth graders.  He came up to me and said, “You will be doing this.”  (He had seen me do things like design bulletin boards.)

This was a hands-on class and we made things.  The group was wonderful – even if at other times they were little hellions!  They were wonderful because they were doing things with their hands.  That’s when I started doing a lot of designing and arranging.

2.  What does this mission mean to you?

This mission means I am using my God given talents.  I want to continue to do that as long as I can.  It gives me great satisfaction.  I give gifts to people.  I get the opportunity to find out people like my work.  It keeps me young.

3.  What was your best day as a floral and garden designer/arranger?

My best day was when I was chosen for an article in the paper.  It was about a garden fair.  A local TV station came and toured my garden.  I got to show it to many people.  Sharing the garden was one of my best days.  My garden is very interesting, but it is more of a cottage garden.  I just like letting things grow in strange places.

4.  What was your worst day as a floral and garden designer/arranger?

My worst was all in one week.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I talked to the doctor and he said, “Well, this can’t stop you.”   I had surgery on Tuesday and by Friday I went out and cut flowers. That was my worst day, but it also turned into a best day.  Four days after surgery I could cut flowers and arrange them.  It gave me the energy to not feel pain and to overcome my pain.  When you work in your garden, cut flowers, and make arrangements, you can overcome pain.

5.  How did you survive your worst day?

I said, “I have to do this, because if I give in I’m going to be in trouble.”  So I just pursued it and went forward.  I have fabulous doctors.  The surgeon met with my family and said, “You will cut flowers on Friday!  You can do it!”  He really gave me the desire to do the garden – no matter what kind of surgery I had.

My neighbor was just diagnosed with breast cancer, so now I can really help her as well.  That’s what I’m going to do.  I’m inspired to help another person!  I will give her moral support, be there for her, help her make decisions, and help in every way I can.

6 Comments

  1. bob & peggy reimers 12/20/12
    6:31 am

    we love you jenny and your work, bring dead flowers back to life

    Reply

  2. Susan Schlosser 12/18/12
    11:50 am

    What an inspiring story. I am always amazed at the creative arrangements Jenny comes up with because it
    isn’t something I have the talent for. We all enjoy her
    work.

    Reply

  3. I am inspired by the fact that the love you have for your mission in life kept you moving no matter what problems were thrown in your path! Your desire to keep doing what you loved no matter how much pain you were in, helped keep you going and was a healing element in your experience. Gardening is such a beautiful way to share happiness with others!

    Reply

  4. Barbara Sheets 11/30/12
    10:23 am

    It is inspiring to read how you got right up from your surgery and went back to doing what you love. You realized that when kids are doing something creative with their hands they are happy and well behaved and when you are doing what you love pain takes a backseat. What an insight! This knowledge and talent will really help others particularly someone experiencing breast cancer as you have. You have taken a negative event and are turning it into something positive.

    Reply

  5. Maureen Jordan 11/21/12
    8:30 pm

    You have a talent that brings smiles to others. And now, you have used your breast cancer experience to show others that they, too can overcome and do the things that they did before the diagnosis. How better than hearing that from someone who really knows!

    Reply

  6. Brava! I love the simplicity of your approach, Jenny. What a lovely gift you give to all around you.

    Reply

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