When a Houseplant becomes a Symbol….

That’s a pretty nice plant, don’t you think?  I mean, I know it’s just a plant.  Nothing really too spectacular about that except for the fact that my thumb isn’t a green one and this particular plant was initially in one of those “dish garden” things – you know, the planters that are usually given as gifts and include four to five different plants? 
See, it was a gift I received from my husband’s co-workers at the time.  The time?  My Dad’s funeral.  At the time, I was so appreciative of such a kind and thoughtful gift, but had no idea the life it would take and the meaning it would have in my life. 
When my Dad died, I barely remember taking care of my kids and getting through each day, let alone the cards that people sent or the people who came to his funeral to pay their respects and offer support. Initially I was numb.   I certainly didn’t know how to care for a plant, or in this case, five plants.  I had enough lives to worry about, plants weren’t something that I wanted to focus on.
I needed to focus on those plants.  I needed to give them my attention.
I must have at least watered them because they grew and I remember someone suggesting that I separate them into individual pots so they could thrive and grow and spread their roots.  I was nervous, though, and afraid.  What if I messed it up?  What if I separated them in the wrong sections and they all ended up dying?  Like my Dad had died.
I couldn’t bear the thought.  In my still grieving mind, it was all I had left of him.  I decided to go for it realizing that the best outcome would be five flourishing plants that would fill my home with oxygen and surround me with the love of my Dad.  All but one of the plants died.  I don’t really remember why or how, but like I said, I do not have a green thumb.
It is been six and a half years since my Dad died, since I received that dish garden as a gift from my husband’s co-workers.  They simply couldn’t realize at the time, what an amazing gift, truly.
I have transplanted it a few times, upgraded if you will, to bigger pots as it has grown.  Each time, holding my breath and saying little prayers that it would stay with me. 
Here’s the thing about death.  At the time, it sucks.  It’s really painful and you cry, you get angry, you don’t understand how the rest of the world can just go on while your world is seemingly falling apart.
Eventually, things are different.  Never better, just different.
 A new normal
At some point for me, I transitioned to honoring my Dad and his memory by talking about the joy and fun times we shared rather than focusing on losing him way before he had a chance to truly be the amazing Grampy to my children that I know he would have been.
He lives on in our hearts, in our photo albums, and on our video tapes.  He lives on in that plant.  Every time I water it and dust off the leaves or transplant it to a larger pot, I honor him and he lives on.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day, Grampy. 
We love you and miss you, today and always.


  1. Monet1271 says

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing that!!! And hugs to you on this day!

  2. TheLotionQueen says

    Love it! ((hugs!))

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