My sister Patty loved Morning Glories. I remember her house in the north woods of Wisconsin, one whole side almost covered in these bright, beautiful little bundles of hope. Perhaps one of the most precious things I carried home with me from that one visit I was able to make to her house was a love for her favorite flower- after that I always felt closer to her when I planted and nurtured my own Morning Glories in my yard in New York state.
It’s been seven years since she passed away, and I still can’t seem to really get a hold of the idea. It refuses to take root in my heart. Several times a week I think of telling her something, sharing some bit of my life and the lives of my children- three of whom she never got a chance to know- and I have to remind myself that that’s never going to happen again. Seems like the pain of that reminder should diminish with time, but it hasn’t yet.
A few weeks ago I was looking through some of the children’s books, and I came across a book that Patty had given them. In the front she had drawn several bright flowers, all from her imagination, and she had written”Art by Auntie Patty” under them. As always when I think of her, and of the distance that is now permanently between us, my heart started to ache. I put the book away, and went to greet the boys coming home from school. Mu’aadh, my eight year old, came in with a smile as wide as his face, his brown eyes dancing.
“I have a present for you, Ummi,” he said, pulling his hand out from behind his back.
In his hand was a vine, with three lovely blue Morning Glories shouting out from the leaves.
With this small gift from a little boy who never knew his Auntie Patty, I found comfort. I know that I will never talk with Patty again, laugh with her, eat pizza with her…but maybe, just maybe, I can still carry a little piece of her with me always. The part that lives in the hope of the Morning Glories.
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