Granny’s Violets

Growing up, I met a most peculiar woman. She was at the time 85 years old and the great-grandmother of a childhood friend. In fact, she was my dad’s best friend grandmother [ are you following this ]. Granny Gow lived at the end of our street, by the river, in an old ragged green house. She had never had any money and survived on very little. I didn’t know much about her except that she had a piano which could be “switched” into a harpsichord , that she made the most awesome cookies and that she had the most beautiful plants. So, a few times a year, when my friend Kyla would visit, we would end up at Granny’s house and enjoy sandwiches and snacks and conversation.

As Life would have it, Granny kept growing old and eventually had to be placed in the hospital. [ which she escaped a few times for she did NOT want to be told what to do … ]. During one of our last visits at her house with my mom, she handed her over a pink violet – or what she said was a pink violet. The plant had not blossomed in some time , but she wanted my mom to take one. Which Mom did with extreme excitement. Granny was the plant lover of the town and to have one of hers was quite the honor. Mom brought it home, found a special place for the violet and took care of it. The leaves remained strong and green. But there was never a flower to be seen. And so, we waited …… and wondered if one day, it would sprout !

Granny Gow eventually fell asleep and moved on to Spirit World to take care of the Universal gardens. I remember crying with my parents about the loss of such a wonderful human being. And then Life moved on – as it always does – and though we still missed her, we didn’t talk about Granny as much….

It had been a few months since her passing to Spirit World. My mom one day was all excited during her Saturday morning chores: Granny’s violet had finally bloomed. One little pink bud – adorning the green leaves. The next day, there was another one – and yet another, and another. The violet kept blooming and blooming and got very big. My mother decided that it was time to divide the plant into other pots… And the plants kept blooming and blooming…. My mom’s friends came over to see the plants – and she shared them with her. I think all of the neighborhood was given a Granny Gow violet….. We always laughed when we talked about it – but Mom said that Granny lived on in the plants – that her Love and Spirit for Life had kept on through the beautiful pink flowers…. It was my first real sign that Life DOES go on when you move on to another realm.

Last year, when Mom was placed in a home because of her own Life Journey, I went upstairs and found the remnants of one of Granny’s violet plants. It had died, because Mom’s memory had prevented her from watering the plant and so, it could no longer live. I cried hard that day, knowing that they had meant so much to Granny and to my Mom …. and that cycle had ended – along with the happy memories which went along with the little plant… It was such a beautiful story – one woman, one plant , many lives touched. I also smiled because of all the memories attached to a great woman and her little plant…. I am willing to bet that our older neighbors still have one of Granny’s violets blooming in the sunshine of their homes…

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to get items for supper. African violets were on sale. I bought one …..violets

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2 Responses to Granny’s Violets

  1. Susan reeves says:

    I always buy African violets and usually full of blooms. Seems like I can feed them, repot them, everything I know of. I can’t even get a single bud! My mom was very good with them though, she even took a leaf off and started a new plant almost every time she tried.
    I would have to say this, I truly believe granny gow’s loving spirit when she passed on still must have been around for the plant to bloom and grow so abundantly !!! I think she wanted her love to still be remembered for this ( and the other ones ) to grow and bloom so beautifully and so remarkably well !! You were really blessed to have known her ( and so were others).

  2. aspieme4444 says:

    Indeed we all were … her memory lives on !

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