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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Tale of Two Plants

When Stephanida (Stella) passed away, I had no real clue how to properly honor her memory, in an Orthodox fashion. I thought about cleaning the church in her name, so when I am there cleaning I try to remember her. Fr Boris told me to take 2 plants home that were given to her at her funeral. Since she had no surviving family, there was no one to take them. The mum-looking one, with pretty flowers inevitably died, sadly. I think it needed a re-potting and more time than I was able. The other, a leafy green one still lives, thankfully. I was at a loss when Fr Boris told me I should care for them in her memory, like, okee, no problem. Two things I have learned, how a plant keeps a memory and why I prefer the green one to the flowers anyway.
The plant itself cannot, per se, speak, but every time I water it, it makes me think fondly of Stella and her ways. I recall her funeral and the way I felt, in a nostalgic, reverent sort of way. I think of the people who would help her down from the choir to have communion (there is a step down). I think about singing next to her, the alto part totally figured out for her, she has been doing it long enough. I remember her face...
Now, I did like the flowers, they were quite pretty and white. Sort of mum-looking as it were, they all slowly died in spite of our efforts. I felt terrible! Nice way to honor a memory, just watch it whither away! Oh well, we could not help from going. The green, unassuming, large-leafed plant is still here, good as ever and probably bigger. It crossed my mind how much more moderate this green one seems. She is green, she does not ask for much, is not high maintenance...she just grows calmly and slowly. I had given thought to how this mirrors our spiritual lives, how we need to be moderate, not flashy. The flowers are all well and good, they are made to do that and so they do their job. I dunno, just a thought.
Gotta go! Mommyhood is calling...it sort of sounds like crying this time =)

2 comments:

Petronia said...

I guess no matter what you do, the plant is not going to be eternal :)

May her memory be eternal!

Marfa said...

We were given some plants from my brother-in-laws (he was 35) funeral and they're not doing so well, but that's life.

How old was Stefanida? May she rest in peace with our Lord & God.