Spending the summers rambling under the feet of my precious maternal grandparents, I relished the crash courses in Gardening 101.   Whether tending to their mammoth vegetable garden or planting flowers in the yard, we grandchildren were required to assist, in pulling weeds if nothing else.  Curiously intrigued by their ability to make anything grow, I asked a lot of questions, soaking up their hard earned wisdom.

The deaths of my mother and brother, even my step-father, have symbolically brought a valuable lesson from Gardening 101 to light:

Pruning is crucial for certain life forms’ existences and fundamental for them to flourish.

Mama and Eric’s lives, and Tony’s, were branches, extensions of my own. Beautiful masterpieces while they bloomed, each enhanced my life for a season.

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Full of exuberance, Eric mesmerized me with his enthusiasm for whatever subject he was passionately involved. Courting a love affair with mother- nature, Tony inspired me with his appreciation for her wonders.  The very essence of tolerance, endurance and long-suffering, Mama motivated me to nurture myself, so that I am able to take care of others.   We grew as one, for a season, partaking in each other’s sustenance.

Ravished by disease, they withered, succumbing to death. The open wounds of their pruning continue to heal, sapping vitality, but I feel a spring bloom surging in my bones, I feel them still living, in me.  Sprouting from new growth, delicate buds, of Mama, of Eric, of Tony, of me are anxious to show the world our splendor.

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