Sunday, February 26, 2012

Geraniums in the Winter

I love Geraniums. 
I think they are just beautiful and enjoy their blooms all Summer long.  In Fall, before the first sign of frost, I brought my Geranium plant inside.  Yes, I only had one.  But, this one was special.  The reason it was special is because I was able to bring it inside to Winter and it survived seven-years of doing so.  Then, once the warmth of Spring sets in, outside onto my balcony it goes.  There, it usually joins other plants, although if it were the only plant there, that would be fine with me.  The flowers from the blooms are beautiful, 
vibrant and red. 

I suppose that I really loved that plant because it was the only one, that came inside our home for a season.  I imagined that this Geranium beared witness to everything that goes on within our family during the winter time.  It soaked everything up and then, once again, was placed back into the warmth of the Sun, where it glowed and flourished.

Over this last weekend, my eleven-year old son attended a grief camp for kids. 
It was a day-long camp that had been planned weeks before. 
After losing a person that he loved so much, his step-father, I thought this would be a good idea
 -even though, he has been handling it well. 
He carries on- the same, from the heart, dinner-table prayer that his step-father did. 
He washes dishes and cars, the same way his step-dad did. 
He talks about him, cries about him, laughs about him, misses him, 
and does his best to help me out, for him. 
He was there the whole distance to witness how Pulmonary Fibrosis affected him 
and he was there when it was his step-dad's time to go.

My son is a social little-guy.  He loves to spend time with others and enjoys the interaction. 
So, he looked forward to this experience of a grief camp.  We received a letter outlining the day's agenda, and in it, they suggested that we bring a photo of our departed loved one. 
My son chose a photo and on the day of the event, we drove the hour long distance, with my son clutching the picture in the back seat.  Once we arrived, we saw a small parking lot full of cars,
and later, a greeting room full of people.  People just like us; children and family members who have recently lost someone dear.  I did not stay for the camp. 
I wanted my son to feel free to express himself without me hanging around. 
So, I kissed his soft cheek and drove away.

About an hour before the program was ending, I couldn't stay away any longer. 
I went back and entered into a large room, where seated up-front was the group of children. 
Sitting in the rear, where other parents watched, I listened to the host ask the children,
"If you could ask your loved one anything, what would you ask?" 
The children ranged from five-to-fifteen years of age. 
One asked, "Do you know how much I miss you?"
Then, more questions followed.
 "Do you watch over Mom and me?"
"Did it hurt when you died?"
and then,
"Is Heaven beautiful?"

Good thing, they put Kleenex, back there, where I was sitting.
At the end of the program, my son grab a hold of my hand and led me to a table. 
The table-top was filled with laminated photos of our deceased loved-ones, placed into small potted plants. 
During the day, the children had visited a green-house and were able to choose between one, of two-types of plants.  The plants were little sprouts that the kids are to nurture and watch grow,
  all in memory of their loved one. 

Upon leaving, we placed the plant gently into the car.  
As I pulled the car out of the parking lot, I asked him,
"Do you know the name of the plant you chose?" 
 He shook his head, no.
"I chose it because everyone was choosing the other plant and I wanted to be different."  He said.
"Good choice."  I responded, 
"You chose a very lovely plant  -the Geranium." 

As we drove away, I smiled to myself.  My one and only Geranium had died last Fall.
Our family had been so busy in this journey that we had forgotten to bring it in for the Winter.


1 comment:

  1. Such a touching story! Thank you for sharing it with us! With love, Donna