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Aunt Josie's Garden

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Walking outside down the few steps into bright sunlight, it is a sight to behold. Her backyard was small and completely fenced in and yet with all the flowering plants and shrubs competing for space the only place left for them to grow was up. Next to the tiny patio and steps leading to a basement apartment a small black cat with blazing yellow eyes was enjoying the warm sanctuary she had created. My Aunt Josie was only about three cats short of being a crazy cat lady which is somewhat ironic since she had allergies to cats most of her life. The wooden fences were tall and the side of a brick building close the back end of her yard. Marigolds, Rose of Sharon and a host of other plants some she could name (some she couldn’t) were intermingled with pole beans tomatoes and peppers. Her diminutive frame often disappearing right in front of me from the dense foliage as she walked around showing me her garden. I followed closely behind and listened as she spoke about how she has too many plants and how I should dig one out and take it home with me. “You can have this one Joe. Just dig it out take it with you.” She would have let me take more but one Rose of Sharon was more than enough. It is growing very well in my garden now. When it flowers it’s blooms always remind me of her. In recent years I had not seen her as often as I would have liked. Her dementia had deepened after a stroke she suffered some ten years ago but she always seemed to recognize me when I would visit. I always managed to get her to smile telling her stories of misadventures I had in my youth. She suffered a second stroke (perhaps a brain bleed the distinction escapes me) and has been in and out of hospital. She left us quietly just after mother’s day and we will miss her terribly. It has been a hard spring for her and her family. Her garden remains in my thoughts with her proudly showing me around. Godspeed Aunt Josie all my love.

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Very moving.

I, for a moment, caught the sent of fresh peppers and foilage as the image of a small woman weaving through a dense garden flashed ( again, for just a moment) through my mind.

These are the kind of memories we should all hope our loved ones keep of us.

Thank you for sharing this.


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