Friday, February 29, 2008

one orange flower

I heard birds chirping the other day. The sweet sound took me by surprise. It has been such a long and dreary winter that I had forgotten all about birds and sunshine and all things that are beautiful that come after a bitter cold season. Since that day I have had this craving for fresh flowers, the kind of craving I usually have for dark chocolate. I need flowers. I need to have some sign of life sitting on my kitchen table to remind me of all that is good after battling the winter blues.

I first satisfied my craving with chrysanthemums the color of a ripe green apples. Not a lot just a few. On the way to the library the other day I noticed that my signs of life were not looking so lively any more. As I was going out the door I grabbed some extra cash and thought that the boys and I could look for a flower shop to satisfy my craving and pick out a flower for Grandma Klein as well. It had been such a long time since we had seen her and Gibson would be thrilled to pick out a flower for her.

Our visit to the library went so exceptionally well that I thought we probably could manage a visit to grandma's before Gibson hit the overtired wall. We set out to find a little flower shop that we once spotted. With no success I decided to head back to a flower shop I knew of. At this point Gibson started to fade away. His head was nodding and his eyes were getting heavy. I decided that if he fell asleep we would not go, if not we would make a go of it. He stayed awake, and we finally arrived at a quaint little shop, and after much debate Gibson chose a vibrant orange gerber daisy as the flower he wanted to give to his grandma. He was overjoyed to carry his flower out in its brown paper wrapping.

We followed our normal routine upon our arrival at grandma's big house. we watched the regulars play a game of pool and then we made our way to the elevator. after punching in the code to grandmas floor and keeping gibson away from all emergency buttons we finally arrived only to be greeted by a nice nurse telling us that we shouldn't be on the floor because everybody was sick and she didn't want my boys to get sick. disappointed, I asked her to deliver our flower to grandma. She graciously said she would wait with gibson and elliott as i ran it into the dining room were grandma sat eating lunch. when i got to grandmas table i put my arm around her and said hello. she responded like she always used to respond with, well hello there sweetie. I then told her that gibson had picked out a flower for her and with great joy she said, oh gibson did. I said goodbye and I loved her and that I had to get back to the boys in the hallway. as we got back onto the elevator i then noticed a big white sign that said visitors were restricted on that floor due to the flu. once again, i was too distracted to notice...oops. we then finished our routine by watching the regulars play another game of pool, followed by lunch and naptime when we got home.

After we got home and the boys were asleep, my mom called saying that a sad blessing had happened...grandma klein passed away. i immediately started sobbing knowing all that had just occurred, knowing that i just hugged her goodbye. my heart ached for my grandpa and my dad wishing that it had been them who had just been with her. wishing that it had happened on one of their daily and weekly visits, not on my random one. oh, my heart aches.

Looking back it was providential that the boys and i saw grandma. My new craving for fresh flowers, a library visit that didn't leave me exhausted and just wanting to go home, and my obliviousness to posted signs prohibiting visitors all gave me one last chance to say goodbye.

There are many things that i will remember about my grandma. she was such a strong woman. she raised seven successful and caring children. she was married for an amazing fifty-eight years and she was a phenomenal cook. most importantly she was a godly woman saying the rosary into the late stages of her Alzheimer's disease. her prayers were one of the last things she remembered. her presence here on earth will be missed, but i think we all find great comfort in knowing that for the first time in a long time grandma finally knows she is home.

1 comment:

  1. Theresa, One orange flower is beautiful, much like you and your writings. Thanks for the beautiful essay. Grandma Klein is smiling for sure. Love you, Mom


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