THE PLANT

When I lost my husband in 1970, shortly thereafter Mom and Stepdad moved to town to ‘help.’ And help, they did. Mom did an inordinate amount of KP duty. Seems my four kids and I were always eating, and there were always tons of dishes to be done.

Well I can’t recall whether my parents brought with them this houseplant from Queens to Toms River, NJ, or whether they acquired it once they planted themselves here. In any case, seems to me this plant was ALWAYS there, and it was my job year after year, when my parents went South in winter, to ‘take care’ of the house in their absence. So mostly what I did was water the plants.

When my parents died, I inherited this plant and for years have had it here, under my nose, faithfully, dutifully, taking care of it/her. I often think of said plant as a HER. But recently I began to notice that SHE seemed tired out, listless and not really wanting to try any longer. I’m no horticulturist but when I saw this large ceramic pot in my honey’s garage, I requested it, as salvation for said plant. I kind of crossed my fingers when I unearthed her from her place, from where she’d been sitting year after year after year. I had two bags of soil in the garage and the ceramic planter welcomed it all. She looked a bit like an octopus whose tentacles were mangled. Her roots were dry and caked. How could anything grow in that condition. I watered her roots. If she didn’t feel it, I surely did. (My gosh, I hope I didn’t shock her half to death.) I covered her around carefully with all the soil and then I gathered up her splayed limbs and figured that maybe tying them together was an answer. I did so, and tied them all to the metal post that I transferred from the old pot. The whole thing drooped and was ready to fall over, so I then tied it to the CD player that was sitting on the floor next to her. They were now satisfactorily balanced. I showed my handiwork to my honey and I think he was duly impressed.

This morning when I checked on her, she wasn’t looking very well. Leaves droopy and sad. I checked the internet to see what kind of plant she might be and thought she might have once resembled a Peace Lily. And somewhere down through the years, I might recall that once or twice during those years, she actually produced a flower. Maybe I’m making that up; I really can’t recall very well.

I thought I’d take a picture of her and post it along with this tale, but I didn’t and so I’ll have to leave this to your imagination. I asked my honey to take a look at her this morning and his suggestion was to give it a little more water, and so I did. This is the end of my plant story and I surely hope that it isn’t the end of my plant.