December 25, 2010
This morning our Christmas cactus bloomed for the first time in several years. Its not a big deal really, except this single flower marks something of a rebirth, and stands as a symbol of hope. We've had the plant for 28 years, having received it when my mother passed away. It was fairly large when we got it, so it's more than 30 years old. It's one of several house plants we still have that were my mom's. Each Christmas when it bloomed was there as a very visible reminder of her spirit. Lani livingly cared for it over the years as part of her extended relationship with Mom, and for a couple of decades it bloomed prolifically each Noel. While we lived in Winston-Salem it grew to about 5 feet in diameter as a hanging plant, and turned firey pink with a hundred blossoms during the holidays. It became a touchstone, and a tradition in our family.
The plant had grown old and brittle, however. The move to the Sandhills proved too much, and it broke apart. Lani did her best and ended up with four pieces of the original that took root, but stuggled for the past few years. It has not bloomed at all, and two of the pieces died along the way. Last summer we found a spot that was good for it, and the plant grew and got healthy again.
This morning our old cactus bloomed again, a single flower, reminding us a loving woman and assuring us that - at least for this day - all is right with the world. Thank you, Lani, for your green thumb and your devotion. Merry Christmas everyone.