Final blooms

We moved into our house on 15 May 2008. About a week later, all of the pink tulips planted along the front side began to bloom. They were truly lovely and we enjoyed bringing them in to adorn the mantle. That autumn, we planted loads of yellow and red tulips to go along with the rest. After all, I do love tulips! Then the following April, Paul and I watched excitedly as the tulips started to grow. In fact, the day before he died we remarked about how fun it would be to have tulips that we planted in the house.

It was about two weeks later when the first of the yellow tulips began to bloom, followed a couple of days later by the red. (The pink took another week or so.) And I cried and cried and cried because Paul never got to see our beautiful flowers bloom. Instead, they got to adorn his grave. Somehow, that just wasn’t the same.

When the flowers began to sprout through the melting snow last spring, my emotions got the better of me again. Only in addition to being sad that Paul couldn’t enjoy the flowers, I was sad that he wasn’t there to see the first sprouts, either.

And this year, it’s all happening again. Only this year, I’m also sad that I will never see them bloom again. I’m sad that I’m leaving behind not only these beautiful flowers we planted but also the dreams and plans we had for the rest of the garden.

I can’t explain how hard it is to see the seasons changing without Paul here to enjoy it with me. I think there may be a little bit of guilt there though.

I know it sounds silly, but part of me is glad to be leaving this place because I think it will be easier to see the flowers bloom somewhere else – flowers that we didn’t plant together. But part of me will also be sad that Paul never did see our yellow and red tulips. The ones that will adorn his grave one last time this Memorial Day Weekend. I hope he likes them…

5 Replies to “Final blooms”

  1. They are beautiful. I think it’s really special that he helped plant the flowers you adorn his grave with. You can always try digging some up and bringing them to family to plant. That way you could still have some of the same flowers for his grave.
    Francis, the more stories you tell about him, the more I see that you two lived your lives to the fullest. You two had a really special relationship. One that most couples never achieve living really long lives together. Everything you describe was done by the two of you together. That almost never happens anymore.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! We really did have a good life together. I don’t know if it was because we got married later than the average person does or because we just really clicked in a weird way, but we enjoyed spending time together. We [almost] always watched TV curled up together (despite having two couches) and we even did the grocery shopping together. Thankfully, we also did things on our own or we’d have gone mad!

  2. This brings back some memories. I did some work for my Nana ( Paul’s Mum ) at the front of her flat in Billingham. She had a boarder that was a mess. I cleared all the weeds away and planted 3 mini fern trees. To finish it off I got some large rocks from seaton and then put gravel over everything. When i had finished I was so pleased and so was Nana. When she passed my heart was broken for the first in my life as I am sure you can imagine. We everything was over I decided that I was going to dig those trees up and keep them so I would never forget ( not that I would ever forget her) Weeks later all 3 plant died and I was feeling pain yet again. For me I would leave then where you both planted them and hopefully someone else will get great pleasure out of something that you and Paul did together xx

    1. I won’t be taking any of the flowers with me. For one thing, it will be too early to dig up the bulbs. For another, they won’t be the same without Paul here–and I think that they’ll just bring up sad memories all the time.
      Actually, we had purchased some really nice bulbs in Holland that we planted by the front door. Our ‘plan’ was to dig a couple of them when we moved so that we always had flowers from our first home with us. I don’t know if we really would have, but as I said, I don’t want the flowers if I can’t also have Paul.
      And as you said, hopefully the next people will get some enjoyment out of them… xx

    2. This is true and I think about how she might feel if they didn’t bloom. But I decided to ignore the pessimistic side of me. I received some potted bulbs as a gift once. There was a tulip, hyacinth and crocus. They had died off and it was quite some time before I decided to dump the pot out in my flower garden. To my amazement, they all bloomed the next year. Even after digging them up once as I was weeding the bed. As I was weeding another flower bed, I found a bulb in the soil. I had lived here probably 8 years at this point and had never seen a sign of anything else there but the rose bushes. I decided to put it at planting depth and see what happened. The foliage grew but it didn’t bloom, but the next year, it did. It was a beautiful gladiolus. It blooms every year now. When I move somewhere new, I often wonder who planted them and how many years ago. I wonder if they are still alive and if not, are they looking down and smiling that they still thrive? Maybe there will be a time that you and Paul can look down together and smile.

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