So yesterday, after our usual hello’s and how are you’s she asks,
“What flowers are blooming in your front yard?”
At first I thought it was hypothetical. But then I realize it’s almost spring, and this is probably a common question from a long gone era.
“It’s not quite spring yet,” I respond. “So nothing’s really blooming yet. But my Easter lily has sprouted, but there’s no flower.”
“Oh, I see,” She sweetly replies.
Many times we’d be a few minutes into our conversation and she’d stop.
“Wait a second honey,” she’d say. “I need to get a picture of you. Where are you sitting?”
“I’m sitting at my kitchen table.”
“What color is your top?”
“I’m wearing a denim shirt.”
“And your slacks. What color are they?”
“I’m wearing khaki’s.”
“And your hair, how are you wearing it these days.”
“Well, it’s about shoulder length, a little layered, highlighted a dark blonde. And it’s curly.”
“Oh good, now I can really see you. Now where were we?”
I updated her on my kids and grand-kids. Then we talked about my dreams and the ways she could pray for me. We laughed, and we cried. And we marveled at how many years had passed.
And after we hung up it hit me.
I was wrong, my yard is full of flowers.
Because, Aunt Jeanne Marie, now that I think about it, you planted them there. Grace is in the middle just where you put it. It grew every time you loved me in spite of how flawed I am. Then there’s that patience. Remember how you planted it so deep in the soil so its roots would stay put? You made sure I could see it for many, many years. Oh and that perseverance, that flower is so stubborn. I couldn’t kill it if I tried. You made sure of that each time you stuck by me no matter what I did.
And I think I can speak for all of us when I say how grateful we are. It was you who tilled the soil of our broken lives. It was you who did the hard work so we could reap the reward. It was your love and devotion to a renegade bunch of kids that changed our lives.
So yes Aunt Jeanne Marie, my yard is in full bloom. And it will stay that way for many years to come.