Secret Garden

There are delicate purple and white orchids in the large floral shop near Mary’s house. I drive by Dr. Delphiniums every Saturday when I visit Mary, my 91-year-old friend, and award-winning writer.

            Yesterday, on a whim, I took her to see the flowers. I had low expectations. When Mary and I walked in, we stepped into our own secret garden.

            There were fall arrangements with pumpkins. Gold and burgundy flowers surrounded them.

            The juxtaposition of Mary’s age and dementia with the beautiful roses that last for only days reminded me that the beauty of her life will not last much longer.

            I treasure moments like this. She adopted two young children decades ago, but this year I have been going through my own pretend adoption process with Mary. In a way, the adoption process is complete. I have adopted her.

            The florist/owner allowed us to view the orchid nursery which was expansive. Before we left the flower shop, I purchased three roses.

            “Look at the tips of the rose,” Mary said more than once.  She gestured with her hands as she emphasized the word, “tip”.

            Classical music was playing in the background. Turns out plants respond to it, according to the florist.

            I took her home and asked her later where the roses came from. She couldn’t remember.

            Before I left, Mary called me, “Friend.”  It was a beautiful way to end a perfectly wonderful day.

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