Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mom's Clematis

For 12 years, I've tended the clematis that was my mother's.  She planted it here when she first moved in, and loved the deep, vibrant, violet flowers that climbed up a little lattice. 
Flowers growing outside were a big deal to Mom.  She wasn't good with plants.  We learned never to give her houseplants, and if we gave her bouquets for special occasions, we could be sure to find them perfectly (kind of) preserved, still in their vase weeks later.  She took an interest in plants when she moved up here, and some of her plants remain.  I really dislike "red hot pokers" but can't bring myself to tear them out. There were several things here that she loved, but the clematis was "her color."
When I got here, it barely bloomed.  3 or 4 blossoms a year for the last 11 years, and then this year something changed.  It started climbing, and I gave it some ribbon to find its way to the porch railing.  On it went, blooming all the way.  I appreciated every single flower.
As it got closer and closer to the date that the kids were to arrive from California, I told the clematis that they were coming; to hang on. 
It's about time for them to leave.  I went out on the porch for something and saw this one lone flower left.  No more buds, and the petals are barely hanging on.  It did its job.

If you knew how much these kids meant to Mom, you would be right there with me, knowing that the clematis flowers this year are from her, and she too stuck around to be with the kids.  I knew it when one of the petals drifted to the ground while I stood there looking at it.  

I'm not sure if the tears that filled my eyes were about the kids leaving, thinking about how proud she'd be of them, or the whole kit and kaboodle.  Dang flower.

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