It was a special anniversary, of sorts. The technician, whom I have come to know quite well over the years, welcomed me with a huge smile a hug and congratulated me on reaching my 10 yr mark, post- cancer and post mastectomy. As I told her, I pretty much never think of my cancer anymore, except when I have to return for my regular mammograms. She agreed that it is the way it should be for survivors like me....and then she ruined all the nice sentiments by squeezing the day lights out of my one and only boob. But I did thank her for it...I can stand 10 seconds of torture if it means I can continue to live a healthy cancer- free life.
It was very surreal returning to Winnipeg. I haven't been back since we moved to the country 9 months ago. I cannot honesty say I enjoyed it, except for a very brief visit with my former neighbour, Elaine, and a hour long coffee and chat with our son, Jon.
We had very little time to do much, but we did go to our old house (now our son's) to pick up some items we had left behind.
My main focus, was on 4 large house plants that we were unable to bring with us 9 months ago, and most especially...Beauty.
Beauty has a story...
My Mother had a huge Christmas Cactus for as long as I can remember that bloomed for half a year, every year. It was her pride and joy. It sat in a standing brass plant stand, in her living room as long as I can remember, and she only moved it to clean, but then the stand went right back to the same spot.
Mom's living room window faced south, but her plant was never in the sun. It sat off to one side where it got plenty of light, but never direct sun. Every fall Mom would drag her big cactus down to the coldest darkest room in the house( her root cellar) and she would leave it there for a couple of months, pretty much forgotten. A few weeks before Christmas she would drag it back upstairs, put it in its rightful place and water it, and within a couple of weeks it would be loaded with buds that would bloom for months.
When my Mother passed away 32 years ago, it was in full bloom...it was March. I decided I wanted the plant so I took it to my townhouse, set it roughly in the same position in front of my south- facing picture window, and within six weeks it was dead.
I knew everything there was to know about the care of this plant, and I followed it to the letter, but the plant died anyway.
It had been dropping sections before it died, and I potted those tiny pieces... Every one of them.
They all died as well.... Except one.
And that one is my Beauty!
Over the years Beauty has come to mean just as much to me as my Mother's plant meant to her, so when I had no choice but to leave it behind when we moved, I was heart- sick, and when I saw how sick it looked yesterday, I almost cried.
I could have blamed my son for its poor appearance, had I not experienced almost the very same thing with another plant 32 yrs ago.
So, I gathered my sad Beauty up, shoved her in the car and brought her back home with me. In actual fact, she was much easier to transport in her wilted state than she would have been 9 months ago when she measured at least 3 ft from side to side.
I started talking to her as soon as I got her in the door, I gave her some water and left her sitting on the island overnight. This morning she was already starting to respond.
An now at almost noon, she is really starting to look good.
I don't believe it has anything to do with the care my son gave or didn't give at all, just like the care I gave or didn't give my Mothers plant... It was all about the caregiver.
My moms plant needed her, not me. My plant needed me, no Jon. Pure and simple love!
I have done nothing different than Jon did...its just that he is not I.
Welcome Home, Beauty... You are here to stay...