Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Mother in Law

I was doing yard work today, trimming the hedge, tidying things up in preparation for a BBQ we are having tomorrow, and hanging laundry.  The beauty of our hydrangea plant stopped me in my tracks.  It is one of those bittersweet things to me, this plant. 

It was given to my wife 13 yrs ago by our then neighbor Marcia when K's mom passed away. Actually she gave us two hydrangeas but we managed to kill one accidently!  They were teeny tiny when she gave them to us.  I knew nothing about hydrangeas before then.  They had never been in any gardens I had been part of,though I had noticed them in others, they had never really commanded my attention.  They are sort of an old fashioned looking flower though and they really suit our old victorian house.

It didn't bloom for years though.  There was just this lump of greenery next to the house. Every year we would cover it in the fall with a nice blanket of leaves and put chicken wire around it so that the boys would not demolish it when they shovelled snow.  We'd awaken it each spring and it would get bigger and greener. But it took years for the blossoms to come.  Now they come yearly, deep blue beauties that look like we'd played in paint they are so intense.

And I love them. But I think of my mother in law every time I look at this plant.  It was so appropriate that K was gifted a plant at her passing.  Mom could make anything grow.  Give her a plant on its last legs and it would be lush and ready for dividing into two plants when you next saw it.  She died so young, just 58.  She never knew  most of my kids--only Chet.  She was an amazing grandmother to him. Accepting of his uniqueness, seeing his gifts, all without judgement or question.  She would have loved the rest of the brood too, and they would have so benefited from knowing her.  Truly, she was gone to soon.  I really love this plant, but I'd rather my mother in law was still here with us.

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