Last Rites Averted

3 Jul

Dying is never easy to watch, especially when it seems completely unnecessary. In this case, the process was set in motion by mere neglect. So prior to death would come a period of solitude. It’s a very depressing concept. Dying alone could very well be the worst punishment ever.

But this weekend, a live was saved. Death was delayed, hopefully for years—or however long the flowering plant known as a Morning Glory lives. A few months ago, my daughter wanted a plant. Maybe she needed a plant for school. I can’t recall which it was, but I do know that her mom and I took her to Walmart to pick up some seeds, a pot, soil, etc.

It seemed like a happy little moment. Then, on the following evening, she would plant the seeds. Unlike the immediate-growing plants in some TV shows, these seeds took their dear sweet time to grow. Aidan was sometimes impatient, often rushing outside to the patio to see if any signs of life were visible. I remember her excitement when she started seeing little bits of green sprouting up through the soil. It was another happy little moment.

Somewhere along the way, perhaps due to the oppressive heat in Texas, the plant got moved inside into the cool, air-conditioned environment. It would seem like a blessing, but turned out to be a punishment, albeit an unintentional one. The Morning Glory would feel no glory as it quickly became forgotten for days at a time.

After a period of time sitting on the window sill of Aidan’s mom’s room, the little M.G. plant enjoyed a brief revival and spent time in Aidan’s window. The exposure to sunlight every day would be overshadowed by a lack of water. The window sill was again not the place to keep the plant. It lived a life of great thirst—and perhaps confusion.

Before Aidan and Bonnie left for New York, M.G. returned to Bonnie’s window sill. An unpredictable life would continue, until death slowly took hold of the little green one, even as it struggled to flower. A week away would seal its fate and M.G. would be deceased and out of its misery finally.

But fate intervened. After dropping off Aidan and Bonnie at the airport, I came to their apartment instead of going home. I felt something calling me here. I discovered it was a plant ready to meet its maker and begging for last rites.

M.G. looked far older than ever. A painful sight! Some people might have declared it dead on the spot and tossed it in the garbage. But I saw a little bud desperate to see the sunshine, and I felt obliged to help. M.G. could, no would, live a full life, and when Aidan returns from New York, I can tell her about this triumphant experience to save her plant.

I will remind Aidan of her duty to take care of M.G. as best she possibly can. Finding a proper home for the plant will be essential. Placing reminders in common areas will be helpful. Prematurely digging a grave for the plant will also effectively deliver the message, but there’s no reason to go to those lengths. Yet.

I’m just glad I didn’t give her the seed packets I intended to last month. Then we might  be mourning a Texas Bluebonnet plant this summer. And if there’s one horticulture lesson she needs to learn, it’s don’t mess with the Texas state flower.

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