Two years ago, my husband’s last grandparent (his grandfather) and my last grandparent (my grandmother) both passed away within a few days of each other. We now have a potted plant in our house that serves as a simple reminder of the stubbornness and senses of humor they both shared.
My husband’s Aunt Cindy gave everyone in the family a trimming from Grandpa Wilbur’s plant. He liked to joke that the thing just wouldn’t die. When he traveled, the plant would remain abandoned for weeks on end without any water or attention, but it somehow managed to bounce back and thrive. When he moved into a nursing assisted retirement home and gave away his other plants in an effort to simplify his life, this was the only one that he kept because it’s hearty stem and waxy dark green leaves required so little effort yet still managed to cheer him.
I like to call it the Wilbur plant. It sits in a ceramic pot on the buffet table near our dining room window, and it just recently started to bloom little red flowers. A couple of weeks ago, when the weather outside was still snowy and overcast, somehow that plant (while indoors in an automatically temperature controlled house) knew that the vernal equinox had arrived and signaled to us that spring was here. …Or at least it is in other parts of the world, so I hear. I keep waiting for the weather in our area to comply.
To provide an example of my grandmother’s sassy humor, I’ll share a little story of something she did that last time I went to visit her in the hospital. She lifted her hospital gown up to the top of her thighs, and proudly showed my husband her “sexy legs.” The woman wore four-inch crocodile pumps to church on a regular basis. Her legs were pretty incredible!