Sending Flowers to the Living

What is your favorite flower?

Tulip

Tulipomania

Mine is the tulip. It’s a simple flower and easily identifiable.  Not too elegant; too much or too little ~ simple leaves, and comes in a variety of colors.  You can add it to any arrangement or let it stand alone. Strong and powerful it is quite beautiful.  I love the black ones.  I planted some last year that bloomed this Spring and they were beautiful.  They really look black ~ interesting flower.  Not a whole lot to think about with this flower.  You can look at it and appreciate it without having sensory overload.  It’s simple and beautiful, my favorite flower.  Maybe one day I’ll visit Holland and see them in the fields.

I got off of work early today to get a jump on the weekend and frankly to have some time for myself.  I have one of those jobs where sometimes you just can’t seem to get ahead, always busy.  I work in a secure area which means cellphones aren’t allowed in the workspace.  At the end of the work day it’s the same routine. I unlock my phone from the lock box and check my messages.  Today I noticed there was a message from my Aunt Patty. A little background information, Aunt Patty is my mother’s younger sister. I’ve had an off and on again relationship with her over the years. I’ve never lived close to her, she in California and me…well all over,  but I have visited her when I could. Only in the last couple of years have we become closer. She has fought cancer on and off. She went through a bought about a year ago, completed the treatment and came out on top. My last visit with her was last April 2012. We had a great time together.  Laughed like sisters, went to wineries and just enjoyed each others company.  I was older and there was so much more to appreciate now.  We’re both bad at keeping in touch and sometimes would go months without speaking. Over these last few months I’ve been busy. Work, kid and life. Excuses.  I didn’t call. Excuses.  I would think about calling her from time to time, but then there would always be some reason why I didn’t.  Some excuse or reason not to pick up the phone and say a simple hello how are you doing.

As I listened to the recorded message on my iPhone it was her son’s voice I heard not hers. Instantly I knew. I knew. I think I’ve known for a while, but didn’t act on that feeling.  I knew I blew it before the message finished. “Laurel I just wanted to let you know that Mom isn’t doing well, if you could call me when you get this message I would appreciate it”.  Blew it, in a major way.  So busy, I just couldn’t find the time.

I called her number and my Uncle answers.  Bottom line she’s got one to two weeks left.  She isn’t conscious and is in hospice .  I hate that word.  I asked what the plan was,  “there is no plan.  She is only awake for a couple of hours a day.  If you want to come say your goodbyes than okay, but she might not be aware”.  A hard blow,  a hard reality, a hard lesson to learn and some bitter medicine to swallow.  I was not there I wasn’t present.  I was busy.  I own it.

Laurel and Aunt Patty

Aunt Patty and me in San Francisco

Natural Bridge

A picture from our trip up the coast

Waves

The beach we visited

She never stopped telling me she loved me.  I’m very sorry to see her go so soon. I will remember all the good times and the difficult times will be forgiven.

My favorite flower is the tulip.  Today I will send flowers to the living.  A friend of mine who is fighting breast cancer and having reconstructive surgery today.  Tomorrow I will run the longest I have ever run at one time and I will reflect, on living.

The meaning of tulip is: perfect love.

 

 

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