Sixteen years ago, my mother's mother (my grandma) passed away from melanoma. She was 56 years old. At her funeral, a good friend of my mom's had given her this Peace Lily. When it was first given to her, it had several blooms on it. That was in 1995.
My mother has never had the greenest thumb, in fact, she has killed all her other house plants through the years. This was a tough little plant though, and it managed to survive. However, it didn't bloom regularly. The next time it bloomed was in 2003. My mom counted 6 blooms. One for each member of the family, my mom, my step-dad, myself, my little brother, step-brother and my sister Emily. The next day, she looked at it in disappointment as she noticed there were 7 blooms, not 6 like she thought. She assumed that she had simply miscounted the previous day. A few days later, in some what of a panic, she discovered she was pregnant with my sister, Harley. Emily, not even two, was planned and Harley was not. At her age, she didn't plan on having any more kids but Harley was on her way. A wonderful and unexpected addition to the family.
The plant didn't flower again for many years. Not until 2006. In fact, it bloomed, just one singular flower, on March 22, 2006. The day I went into labor with my daughter, my mother's first grandchild.
Yesterday tragedy hit my family. The family dog, Hannah, who had been with us for 10 years, had to be put down. She had a tumor on her hip and it had broken open leaving a large open wound. There was nothing they could do for her. My step-father was out of town so my mother undertook not only the overwhelming task of taking care of Hannah by herself but having to console her two little girls.
Harley was especially shaken up. Hannah was her best friend. From the time Harley could move, her and that dog were basically attached. First, it was Harley following Hannah and as Harley grew, Hannah began to follow her everywhere. She protected her. She protected the whole family, barking like crazy when cars drove by my mother's rural home, chasing away the neighbor dogs and whatever wild animals wandered onto the property.
It was a sad day for everyone. Goose and I went to spent time with my mom and sisters, to help comfort them. We talked about Hannah (who happened to be my dog, Molly's mother) and how she wouldn't hurt anymore and that her and Molly would be in Heaven together. We all went to the craft store and bought supplies to make a memorial stone for Hannah's grave. Then we went back home and sadness lingered in the air all around us.
Back when my mother first discovered she was pregnant with Harley, I mused that the blooms were a sign from my grandma that she was still with us and watching over her. My mom, who is not religious and less spiritual than I, shrugged it off. But when the bloom appeared on the day I went into labor, despite all her skepticism, she thought there might be something special about that plant. And if there was any doubt in her mind, it was all erased when we say the bloom yesterday.
As soon as I saw it, I burst into tears. I ran to my mother's side and we embraced, crying. It seems to me, that in every moment when a woman might need her mother's comfort, an unexpected pregnancy, the birth of the first grandchild, a sad passing of a dear friend... my grandma was there. My mother's guardian angel.
I'm sure there is a logical, scientific explanation for why it blooms so sporadically. Lack of sunlight. Improper watering. My mom's brown thumb. But in my heart, deep in my soul, I know that it's my grandma giving my mom a sign that she is still there.
I believe that we all have angels looking over us. Sometimes they give us tangible signs of their presence, you just need to know where to look. And hopefully, you're mind is open enough to see it.
Rest In Peace