Many of us pray for miracles. I know I do. However, there is a lot to be said for continual blessings! Miracles would be like supernatural interventions that occur in times of very special needs. Blessings, on the other hand, can be continuous. I don’t claim to be a theologian with a Ph.D. tucked into my garden belt. I’m just an ordinary, aging woman who prays so much that I probably pester the daylights out of God! What happened to me in the spring of 2013, though—that is my own personal miracle.
Last April, with a very heavy heart, I left my home in Louisiana to fly to Tennessee. My beloved mother was dying from cancer. She’d beaten it back twice so far, starting at age 87. We had her for two more precious years until the cancer came back in her liver—with a vengeance.
Mama was a happy sprite who never lost her childlike spirit. I was grateful to get to visit her, however
short the time we had remaining. Getting her to laugh softly at memories of childhood did both our hearts good. We’d always been wonderful friends, as well as mother and daughter, becoming even closer as we grew older. She was my rock. And I was still her baby. I wasn’t ready to be weaned.
The plane ride back was rather quiet, even though my grandson Cameron had accompanied me. I told myself that now I had to finally grow up and be the matriarch of my own brood. So I kept my tears and sorrow from my children and grandchildren and just tried to get on with my busy life.
One morning I was looking out the kitchen window into my backyard—and decided I would fill it up with as many flowering plants as I could. I would turn it into a pink memorial garden dedicated to my mother. Pink is the color chosen for cancer survivors. Pink also serves as a remembrance of those who didn’t survive this disease.
Shortly after, on a visit to our local garden center, I hit my head on a hanging basket of soft pink petunias. “Aha!” I said. “I’ll start with this.” It was lovely, it was pink, and it only cost five dollars. So I brought it home and put it on a willowy branch of my chinaberry tree. I took very good care of this plant, later inserting a pretty tin angel in its pot as a reminder that my mother is now my special angel.
Plant number two was a beautiful magenta mandevilla vine that put forth blooms of deep-colored magic all summer long. The pink garden had begun.
This is where my miracle came in…
I have a small rosebush that I keep in a pot and grow indoors all winter by my kitchen window. It had bloomed all winter and was just beginning to bear more of its usual lavender-blue blossoms. I decided to put it outside with my new petunias. True, it wasn’t pink, but the contrasting colors would look exquisite.
Next, I purchased three packs of mixed zinnia seeds. They came from three different stores, were three different brands, and were three different varieties as well. I planted them in different spots in the yard. They germinated and grew well. I waited for the flowers to appear, thinking the multitude of colors would add to the splendor of the pinks and blues. But when the first section of zinnias bloomed, much to my amazement they were all variegated shades of pink! The same thing happened in the second and third locations. Only pink zinnias grew—from all three packets! Were the manufacturers in collusion? I hardly think so. I am just a small dot on this planet, after all.
The clincher was when the new blossoms on my lavender-blue rose turned pink! The rose acted like it had always bloomed pink, even though it was in the same pot and same soil as before.
I truly believe this was a sign that my mother was still with me. The flowers were Heaven’s way of letting me know that all would be well. Mama’s last words to me, spoken in her kind, but weak, instructional voice were, “Be happy!”
Now I am. The blessing of the pink flowers was truly my miracle—a loving gift from her. ❖
This article was published originally in 2016, in GreenPrints Issue #108.