Friday, August 17, 2012

The Flowers of Memory

Have you ever planted a flower (or two, or three) for a dearly departed loved one in your life.  I have.  I wonder how many other flower gardeners have.

Two bloggers gave me inspiration for this post. Thank you, Christine at Inspired Life, for the prompt  (the prompt originally came from   Imagine a phone conversation with a relative who has died.  And Marisa, who left a post about a leopard lily given to her by her flatmate, who also died. 

On Wednesday, I wrote a blog post talking about a red dahlia I've grown (digging up tubers every fall) that was given to me by a friend who subsequently died from cancer.  And, I mentioned a hibiscus I planted in honor of a late, dear aunt.

Today is the 9th anniversary of my Aunt M's sudden death in a car accident.

I wanted to tell you all her story.  If I could talk to her on the phone on this anniversary, what would I say?

Hi, Aunt M!

I want you to know I still think of you often.  I thought of you earlier this month when we had a mini-family reunion.  We talked to two of your children on Skype.  Isn't that amazing?  You never wanted a computer.  We still wrote letters, you and I.  I haven't written a letter for pleasure since the day you died.

I also want you to know that the special hisbiscus I planted in my front yard, in your memory, is blooming very nicely.  I remember how proud you were of your hibiscus and your small vegetable garden.  You were in your late 70's, and lived alone, but you got a lot of things done.  You were amazing.

I remember one of the things we did the day before you died. We went to the Saturday farmers market in the Iowa city where you lived.  You loved houseplants, and you saw an orchid.  You almost bought it, but changed your mind and told the farmer you would be back Tuesday, at the next market  Of course, you never made it.

I also wanted you to know about the "Aunt M" plant.  It is a euphorbia and you would be amazed how long it took me to find that out.  You didn't know what it was, either but you had grown it for years and years in your house  You would grow it outdoors every summer, then take cuttings, overwinter them indoors, and repeat the process.

You had been doing that for over 20 years. The visit before you died, you gave me a cutting.  In fact, I forgot it and we drove back just to retrieve the cutting.  We drove home with it, almost 900 miles.  My plants are still alive, too.  I don't put them out every summer, but I thought you would be pleased to know how much those cuttings make me think of you, too.

It was great talking with you, Aunt M.  I hope there is gardening where you are living now.  Heaven wouldn't be heaven without gardens, would it?  Hope to talk to you again next year.  Bye!

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful post! When I looked at the date, I realized that it was posted on my dad's birthday, and he's been gone since the 70s. He was an avid gardener, it was his favorite way to relax. I was young when he died, and trying to break away and become independent. I love your simple conversation, have lost other very close family/friends in recent years, and want to be able to share with them like you have with your Aunt M. I think I will plant a plant for my dad. This post really touched me.


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