I told “Big Red” good-bye yesterday.
It was tough to pull that last (“plug”) stem but a human analogy would be that “Big Red” had ceased taking in nourishment for several weeks…the last stem had started turning black, like the others did that Chelsey and I amputated earlier in hopes of saving one last piece of the root system.
But now all that was left was the final stem with green leaves (at the end) slowly turning yellow as the black took over more and more of the stem each day. I couldn’t bear to watch it any longer die from lack of nourishment. The stems were like hardening of the arteries…nothing was getting through.
I had to go in early yesterday morning to get some lab work/blood work done for my doctor’s appointment next week, then went by the store and got that chore done. It was still early when I returned…around 9:30. After I put the groceries up…I slowly walked out on the porch and told ‘Big Red’ good-bye.
I made a box and put the stem with the last green leaves in an air-tight plastic bag….wrote “Big Red” a note of appreciation for ten years of love and devotion…made a cover for a box to place everything in and even put some flowers around the box. A fitting tribute for “Big Red.”
History in a Nutshell: (For new readers)
I received a beautiful, red geranium on the day I returned home from my first mastectomy May 31, 2008. There was a large group of people already home when I arrived and lunch had been fixed…there were several presents and cards around…so by the time I started connecting gifts with cards I couldn’t find one inside the beautiful red geranium plant or even a separate card identifying the giver.
I placed the beautiful plant on the white bench on my front porch….never realizing it would stay right there for just over ten years. As time went by…nothing seemed to be able to kill this plant…heat, cold, bugs, storms and hurricanes. “Big Red” as I dubbed the plant was courageous, persistent, and loyal for a decade.
Eventually what took its life was its over extended abundance of blooms that finally pulled the root system from the pot and slowly began the decline this summer that resulted in its death yesterday.
A visual look at Big Red over the years….starting in 2010 with the blog.
This past Christmas Big Red was at its most beautiful….when the cold weather hit after Christmas it came inside for the longest time ever during the ice storm and then other nights Luke would carry it inside for me. Everyone in the neighborhood loved Big Red and would slow down and beep when they saw it.
During the early days of my first chemo infusion treatments in the summer of 2008 I would go sit in the sun and just talk to Big Red. It is amazing how close all God’s creations are in reality. There is no doubt Big Red came into my life when I most needed it and now…?
Out of nine cuttings that Chelsey took when Big Red was struggling earlier this summer…only one “took.” Now Little Red (Big Red’s clone) sits inside the beautiful bowl Chelsey and Luke gave me with the plant inside. Yesterday I couldn’t bring myself to throw the big potted plant container away that Big Red called home for a decade…so I simply placed Little Red on top…hoping that the same courage and perseverance that kept Big Red blooming to everyone’s enjoyment for so long will be passed along to Little Red.
This was Big Red’s last bloom for me…as it struggled to stay alive while Chelsey and I did everything humanly possible we knew to help it. It was just its time…so now my hope lies in Big Red’s clone…Little Red. May Little Red carry on his father’s legacy of hope and courage.
At the end of the children’s book “Red Flower Goes West” a little boy’s red geranium survives all the trials and hardship of traveling in a covered wagon out west. Soon the little boy, like me, realizes that keeping that red flower alive for his mother is the most important thing on the trip. When they finally arrive….the little boy hands the red geranium to his mother and she says” Red Flower will grow new leaves and buds…and so will we, so will we.”
***I think I got left one last ‘smile of health’ from Big Red. The sciatica I have been plagued with the past few months left two days ago…Wednesday I felt a twing here and there but nothing like the sharp, shooting pains down my leg I have been experiencing…and yesterday I realized I felt no pain. Coincidence…perhaps…but then Big Red was always there for me to make me feel better…I will think of it as the last gift.
So until tomorrow...”May Little Red grow new leaves and buds and so will I…so will I.”
“Bread feeds the body and flowers feed the soul” How true! Thank you Big Red for feeding my soul for ten wonderful years.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Yesterday was Meet the Teacher Day.…a most exciting day in a child’s life. Eva Cate loves her new teacher, Mrs. Bodie….and Jakie likes her too. Also, Eva Cate’s best friend, Lily, is in her class this year. Happiness is…
Rutledge loves his new kindergarten teacher too! Her name is Mrs. Bendig and he, also, knows one other little girl, Maggie Bailey, who will be in his class.
Eva Cate and Rutledge can hardly wait for school to start now…they both have wonderful teachers!
*Just heard from Bekah and Ady is also thrilled with her teacher for fourth grade, Mrs. Atkins! Wow! Three out of three…can’t beat that. Here’s wishing everyone a most wonderful school year!