Today in my parents yard, Mum told me something I never knew.
She pointed to a flower. A rose bush. And she had a name for it – her niece’s name.
Mum’s niece, and my cousin, was a very dear person to us. IS a dear person to us. Although by rank you would expect her to be much younger than my Mum, her niece was in fact only a couple of years younger than her – that’s what you get when there are 8 siblings in the family, and my Mum is the youngest of them all.
Her niece was only a few years younger than her, because she was the daughter of the eldest of her siblings – in fact Mum was probably in some ways closer to some of her nieces and nephews due to the wide age gap between her and her eldest sisters and brothers.
Anyway… they made memories, right? As you do when you grow up with someone. When I went overseas with my parents back in 1997, despite being initially heavily underwhelmed by the whole go-and-meet-people-I’ve-never-met-before process, that holiday holds some of the best memories of my life.
Now I was the one making memories. Not only with my cousin who was almost old enough to be an aunty to me, but her children, and grandchildren. As age would have it, her granddaughter was only a few years younger than me.
Big families can be highly fascinating.
Many years later, Mum’s niece came to Australia to visit us all here. We had a fantastic time showing her around our beautiful city, and I like to think she, had an equally memorable time.
She made memories.
While here, she got my Mum a bunch of roses…
The ones you see above.
Mum planted those roses. Not thinking much at all other than it being a permanent and beautiful reminder of her niece, who she had made so many amazing memories with, including other generations of the family.
As the unfortunate nature of life would have it, a while after Mum’s niece was back home, she got very sick and passed away.
So today, as Mum told me this, how she had planted this rose given to her by her niece, unknowing then of the future bittersweet nature it would hold, I was amazed. This rose bush was still growing, with one simple red flower, 13 years later.
Thinking of her, and the often cruel nature of life, makes me sad. I sit now, and think of her voice – deep and gentle – how she said my name – with love and tenderness – and how she laughed – gently yet giddy – and remember all of the wonderful times we shared.
I think of that flower… how it still grows… and I know it blooms, solely, because of her.
It still lives, therefore so does she.
In Memory of her… M. ♥♥♥