Friday, May 26, 2006

Signs Of Life

There are a couple things you ought to know about me. First, I love flowers. When I win the lottery, I'll have beautifully tended gardens in my yard and fresh flowers in gorgeous vases in every room. I definitely have my favorites, among them tulips, colored little cala lilies, big fat peonies, and hydrangeas. Second, I suck at gardening. I don't have the time or patience for it. And although I love the results, I'd just as soon someone else did all the work. Still I've planted my plants over the years, some successfully, some not. But I've never been successful with hydrangeas no matter how many times I've tried and how badly I wanted to be.

If you'd visited my home any time in the last 16 months or so, you'd have seen a pathetic little dried up twig in a crappy green plastic pot sitting by the kitchen sink. Most people are too polite to say anything about it but a few asked. Once I explained, they all understood. When Julia was hospitalized in Dec. 2004 she spent her first four days in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care). And although we were "lucky" because we had an actual room with our own bathroom, instead of a stall (because our child was too sick to be exposed to other sick kids and the germs they carried) it was still pretty miserable. All the things you can do to make a hospital room seem not so dismal are banned in the PICU. No flowers. No balloons. Dismal.

When Julia got moved to a room on the pediatric floor on New Year's Eve, we were ecstatic. We got the only private room on the floor because she still couldn't be exposed to germs, but at least now we could "decorate." In came the balloons and stuffed animals and I asked Juji what kind of flowers she'd like me to get her. She answered "Hydrangeas." Off I went to the grocery store across the street and came back with a little potted hydrangea. She also asked for a pink cupcake, her first food in a week, and I went to the bakery in tears and demanded they make her one, and they did, and she didn't eat it. But that's a story for another time.

Eventually we came home and the plant came with us. I stuck it by the kitchen sink and dutifully watered it and eventually it did what all my plants do: play dead. Still I watered it once in a while, and it continued to have some green leaves, so I couldn't give up on it. Imagine my delight and shock when it sprouted buds earlier this month, and then this week the flowers you see here. I've never ever been able to make a hydrangea grow well. Even the expensive ones in my yard just suck up my water and laugh at me. But this one is special. I'm so glad I didn't throw it away. I got a pretty pink flower pot for it this week; it deserves it. It's like magic every time I glance at it (which is quite a bit considering the amount of time I spend at my kitchen sink each day). I recall the worst and best time of our lives. And in the end, we brought our little flower home, and she's flourished.


skrpndiva said...

What an awesome story! I hope you scrap it! Must take a pic of the blooming flowers!

Jodi said...

Aww... what a sweet story and pretty flower to go with it.

Tracie said...

How sweet!!! What a great to come full circle. :-)