Most of my friends know that I am not a “green thumb” kind of person.
Unlike my mother, who simply had the knack for growing magnificent flowers,
plants, and vegetables, I manage to kill almost everything.
Happily I relinquish all gardening opportunities to my condominium
Occasionally I pull out a few weeds which peek through the mulch.
Doing so requires no talent or brain power on my part. Nothing perishes in
front of my house, but the interior of my residence has only one plant
because of my dismal planting skills. Believe it or not, I have kept this
plant alive for almost nine years. For me, that is a miracle. My faith
tells me that G-d, in His infinite wisdom, has watched over this plant for
years. All I have ever done is water it.
Whenever I travel, I make a point of watering my precious greenery before I
depart. I have never asked neighbors to check on its status, and I have
successfully rescued it after some of the longer trips.
Perhaps its longevity is related to its poignant personal history.
Just before my husband passed away, a friend brought him this plant as a get
well gift. The colorful planter actually contains two items–a philodendron
and a spider plant.
To my utter amazement, even after all these years, the spider plant is still
very much alive. Although the philodendron has shedded many leaves, it
continues to sprout new ones on a regular basis.
Throughout the years, family members, friends, students, and assorted
individuals have brought me beautiful flowers and plants in decorative
planters. I am ashamed to admit that I did not have the right touch to keep
most of them alive. Switching to silk plants made more sense to me. Just
recently one of my “green thumb” friends gave me gorgeous tulips for my
birthday. Although I haven’t planted the bulbs yet, I have enlisted a
friend to help me. As long as I am not the primary caregiver, the tulips
have a fighting chance to survive.
When I reflect on my childhood, I realize that I should have paid more
attention to my mother, may she rest in peace, as she pruned and protected
her many flowers, plants, and vegetables. I honestly only remember pulling
weeds and raking leaves. As a kid, I just did not enjoy the outdoor chores,
and on weekends, I only wanted to go out with my friends.
Now, of course, I understand why my parents introduced my siblings and me to
so many diverse opportunities. They were teaching us life skills and life
lessons. Naturally as children, we had other agendas. My parents,
especially my mother, had an extreme reverence, respect, and gratitude for
all living things, including animals, birds, and insects.
She rarely, if ever, killed insects. She attempted to imbue each of
us with the same level of appreciation she had for nature’s bounty.
Pondering all of this, I conclude that my one plant has one purpose.
It serves as a daily reminder to cherish what we have and preserve the
memories and legacies of our loved ones.