I wanted to share with you a personal memorial of sorts.
When my stepfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December of 2003 it was a big blow for the family as you could imagine. “Treat everyday like it is your last” had a new meaning. I remember our last Christmas and how it was hard to not shed a tear when presented with meaningful gifts filled with love and memories. I remember how New Year’s Eve, a holiday we don’t normally spend together, we gathered around the television watching old movies and going through photos and laughing at times gone by.
Saying goodbye to someone is never easy. However having lost one father with warning, and one suddenly I prefer knowing and enjoying the time you have before your loved one moves on. I remember sitting on my parents porch and talking with my stepfather when I would visit. I don’t remember the conversations anymore but I remember an aloe plant he was taking care of. Why this stuck with me I have no clue, however when he passed in February 2005 I found myself drawn to a small collection of aloe plants one day during a trip to Walmart.
I purchased a plant, it was all of probably a foot tall if that and took it home and placed it on my own porch. It brought me peace and reminded me of the days spent talking to my stepfather. One afternoon I came home to find that my apartment complex was painting our porch and had placed all our belongings outside. A few things were taken and someone clipped off portions of my aloe plant. I was so angry! However I brought the plant inside and continued to take care of it. (For the record, aloe plants are very hard to kill they can go months without water. I know this from experience).
Today over 7 years later believe it or not I still have that aloe plant. However now it is so big it takes more than one person to move it. It sits in the corner of my front porch greeting me each day as I walk into my house. It weighs (in its planter) xxx lbs and stands xxx inches tall. Here is a picture with my daughter standing next to it to give you a good visual of how larger it is.
We find comfort sometimes in the most unusual things. I can’t imagine anything happening to my beloved aloe and each time I look at it, it makes me smile.