How Does Your Garden Grow

My mother came a few weeks later to pick me up and take me back home. We’d just gotten the news that my great aunt’s house had sold. How horrifying, I thought. I’d spent the last six weeks becoming incredibly close to my aunt, and now she would live so far away in Virginia with her daughter that I’d hardly ever see her. Also, that would only leave my Aunt Maurine and Uncle Dick left in Grand Rapids; suddenly we went from our huge extended family up there to just two people left. I sensed as I packed up my things that this was a game changing event in the direction all of our lives would take.

Before we left Grand Rapids, my mother and I went to work trying to preserve something of all of the great times we’d had there. My aunt told us to take anything we wanted out of her garden. Her garden had always fascinated me as a child. It was a perennial garden, and like magic every spring, the same plants would rise up after the cold Michigan winter to come alive again. The symbolism was unmistakable. And so one hot July day, my mother assembled old pickle buckets and plastic garden pots and dug up delicate Japanese irises; big, bodacious peonies; sunny, summery primroses; and the most poignant of all, forget-me-nots.

When we returned home to our tiny townhouse with the small plot out back and the small area out front that we could plant in, my mother and I quickly acclimated my aunt’s plants to their new home. It was a bittersweet sense of accomplishment that we felt as we placed the last bit of earth back into the ground.

I looked up at the house that the therapist said it wasn’t safe for me to be in and sighed. I wanted to feel at home. These delicate plants gave me hope that wherever I was, I could find it.

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One Response

  1. […] uncle passed away, because my aunt was too sad to stay in there without him.  And finally, always, the garden my mother and I raided for plants after their house sold (plants that bloom still in my own garden nine hundred miles […]

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