Every day in every way there are messages to behold in our worlds.
African violets in a row on a window sill always leave me thinking of home, of mom, her habit of having African violets on a window sill – usually in the kitchen – of the goodness there was to share amid the chaos. The row of African violets didn’t change. It was always there, a sentinel in nights of bleak, a hopeful bloom again each morning.
Mom once gifted me with a slip from a plant she called “Jesus Tears.” That didn’t carry so much weight with me as the fact that she’d carefully chosen it (and a spare just in case), wrapped in wet toweling all zipped safely in a baggie to carry in her purse all the way from Ontario to British Columbia. I had that plant for years and yes, it wept. Tiny dew drop like tears once a year formed on the plant, orbs of rainbow bubbles surely blown there by angels.
The only person who took a slip from my plant and successfully grew that into a plant was a friend I had known for nearly two decades. My own Jesus Tears plant from Mom began failing when our friendship did. A year after Mom died, when my brain was shocked like plant roots with scalding water, my Jesus Tears began drooping. I managed to get it to perk up. But only briefly. It continued drooping. It drooped and it no longer wept but I did. I continued fretting and in the midst of PTSD, clutched that plant to me as the only living proof I had that I ever mattered to anyone. Still, the leaves began a slow browning I could not halt despite buying new soil, feeding and tending the plant like a baby. I had lost so much, I couldn’t lose this, too…
Last winter I finally gave up my Jesus Tears when it grew infested with some kind of insect that began spreading to my African Violets. Once five, my violets now number four with another recently replaced due to those relentless, wayward bugs. Oddly, one of my violets has not yet flowered this year and my mind went to reasons why which prompted writing this piece only moments ago. Tears were shed by me when I finally gave the Jesus Tears plant up. And even then, I set it outside on a patio table where I could visit it, see it until the final hour. Finally in Spring 2013, I emptied the plant – some leaves still green, would you believe right through the wintry snows? – into the organic recycle and cleaned the pot out, sterilizing it for a beautiful new green friend, another relationship beckoning me to start anew.
One of my sisters once said she wished Mom told us we are each a beautiful flower in our own special way: “You are the best red rose, you are the best pink rose, you are the best blue rose…” In her own awkward way of not being born a parent as no one ever really is, she did. Her relationships with each of us are all completely different from one another. Not one of us views our mother in the same way. Nor will we ever. And that is how it should be. This is the proof that we were each special flowers, that mothers hold special powers sometimes visible, sometimes unseen. This year one African Violet on my sill is not yet in bloom, perhaps may not be until next year. But it is not crying either. Saying goodbye to my Jesus Tears from Mom was a long, emotional process that began immediately after the life blows of autumn 2011 but I finally saw the message she was sending me from her winged home since 2010: that it was best for me to cut all ties with former friends, loves of ill with a chance to start anew. Isn’t that what all good mothers do?
(c) AuroraMorealist 23July2013