We talked about ferns, pansies, mums, babies, children and prayer. I’d waited until past 8 to call, afraid she may not answer.
We talked about sunshine and husbands. We talked about my art and hers and we decided that we would “share a booth” in a “show” this Spring.
I found the obituary earlier.
My cousin, her daughter died unexpectedly 42 years ago.
I walked around with the reality of that all day long and with the question of whether to call, whether it would be something she’d like.
My aunt, I describe her beauty and I always think of Grace, the princess. Her voice is slow and draws gentle circles as she talks about peace, about flowers, about family.
She chooses acceptance, she goes after peace. She knows peace is her friend.
I had a reason to call her. All the pretty pansies and ferns froze over Christmas and the brittle evidence of a hard and unwelcome death were left on my daughter’s porch.
All the brown leaves and blackened blooms would have to be thrown into the woods.
“What should she start over with?” I asked my “Aunt Boo”.
“Ferns and if you can find some that aren’t all stringy and overgrown, some more pansies. If it gets freezing hard and cold, just drape a towel over them and let ‘em stay warm.”
Then she thanked me for calling as if she knew it wasn’t something I knew I was up to.
She told me it helps to talk to me.
Unexpectedly adding the memory of the last time she saw her daughter on New Year’s Day at the convenience store out by Zaxby’s.
And that was all, leaving me wanting to hear more about that day and yet, knowing that knowing more doesn’t make it better.
Knowing rarely brings peace in unknowable things. Instead, an embrace of accepting that thing or things we cannot always understand always does.
Acceptance brings peace.
Knowing more doesn’t make it better.
Today, I’ll look for ferns, asparagus hopefully. The bright green prickly fronds that seem delicate are actually thick and strong.
Feathery and fragile and yet, they endure as long as they have sunlight, water and necessary protection from the frigid cold.
I’ll share my aunt’s advice with my daughter and add it to my treasure trove of her sweet lessons for my living.
Peace, today I shall go in peace. Stay with it.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 ESV
This one’s for you, my precious Aunt Boo.