It's the time of year for the tree out front to dump these purple flowers everywhere... In the mornings it seems like someone has decorated the front steps.
Someone helped me identify the tree last year. Empress tree. I like the giant leaves.
There is a flower out front I'd like identified next. I remember planting it because it was described as something that could survive direct sunlight, little water---evil Texas summer-time. I never remember the name, though...Well, I probably never even looked at the name.
I need to find the name because I want more of them:
The last time I talked to my grandma she'd reached a point where she didn't want breakfast in the morning, just sipped her coffee, and she was sleepy and/or confused. But this particular morning she wanted to sit up. She ate toast and bananas, and she was very awake and talkative like someone had recharged her.
What do you talk about when someone resurges there for a few minutes in the end? Well, if you are my grandma, you don't talk about death. You don't give advice or say goodbyes or acknowledge what's happening. She talked about the weather.
I mentioned these red flowers out front of my house that I had bought and planted because they were so hardy. Everything I had put in that spot so far had died before summer was over, even perennials didn't come back, but these red flowers had made it through most of a year. One day the flowers were even covered with ice and remained for a bit even after that.
Grandma's eyes got wide, "You don't mean it! They were covered in ice?"
I told her they were.
Grandma looked at her sister Wanda and back at me again with sort of a feigned incredulousness, a smile to the side. Grandma was not a fake in this way, but it's like everything she was doing that morning was exaggerated. Eyes large. Voice very clear. Too much of an appetite. She did, in fact, ask for more toast. She even pretended to relish the toast with a low, "Mmmm..."
And she said to me with sly eyes, "This bread is keeping me alive."
I still don't know if she was saying this is in a good or bad way... So sly.
There have been days when I can only picture my grandma low in that bed, and I feel choked, desperate to create a happy picture to replace the image. I was having one of those particular moments as I pulled up in my driveway a couple months ago on a cloudy yucky day. I got out of the car and noticed the whole patch of red flowers had arrived again, all at once. Happy red flowers that could have returned any other day, but they picked the perfect moment. They are surrounded with weeds, and I don't take care of them, but there they are.