Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From A Tiny Bud, A Christmas Cactus

Some of my earliest memories are with my Grandma Walters.

I don't have many memories prior to age 8, but a few sneak in the deep recess of my mind, and my grandmother is part of them.

From the time I was a wee one, she has been a great influence on my life.

She taught me so many many things....I think I have shared some of them with you before.

As I have grown older, I still don't have a very good memory.

But, I think my facts are correct about this Christmas Cactus.

My darling Aunt Patrice was cleaning out her house this fall.  She called me and asked if I would be interested in a few things. Well, if you know me, I am always interested.  I have to go and look.  Then I get to see, and of course I want.

So, the story of the Christmas Cactus begins......

I think this Christmas Cactus originally belonged to my Great Grandmother, Grandma Johnson.  I remember her having one in the dining room, by the big window.  It was big and green.  I was fascinated with how the leaves really weren't leaves, and how they grew like sausages.

Anyway, as my Great Grandmother aged, she went to live with my Grandma Walters (her daughter) for a few years.  I think that Christmas Cactus went to my Grandma Walters house with her.  Now, I might be wrong.  Maybe, Grandma Walters already had one, but that is one of the things I can't remember.

Anyway, the Christmas Cactus came from Grandma Walters for sure.  Because, when my Grandma died, the Cactus then found a home at my Aunt Patrice's house.  She has had it for years.  But the plant grew and the "little white house" (which isn't white anymore) didn't grow.  The "little white house" is another story for another time...

So, last fall, my Aunt Patrice called me on the phone one day.....and she had this Christmas Cactus that she thought I might want to have.

MIGHT WANT TO HAVE!  Are you kidding me?

I was thrilled to have it.  She gave me several plants.  An Ivy, and others.  But the Christmas Cactus was my favorite.

I brought it home.  Sat it on a plant stand in my front window, watered it faithfully.
They like to be a little dry, so I checked the soil often, let it dry out, and watered it.
I talked to it.
I stroked it.
I told it to be strong and healthy, and that I loved it.

I first discovered the buds forming just a day after Christmas.
I was shocked!
I inhaled with shock so hard, that I think the oxygen that entered my body was from Wyoming.
I was speechless.
I was thrilled.
I screamed!
And then I cried.

Since then, the little buds have turned bright pink, and then they bloom.
Many have bloomed.
There are still small buds forming and growing.

I can not tell you how much joy I have had looking at this plant.

I sit in my living room, and stare at this plant.

As I have had many hours of little exercise or movement, I have been able to spend precious time with this Christmas Cactus.  It has been a wonderful companion to me as I  recover from my knee replacement surgery.  It makes me smile as I do my therapy.  It helps me to look at the bright pink blossoms and smile as I lift my leg and stretch my muscles.

I want to be as strong and beautiful as this Special plant is.
It is an inspiration to me.

All year long, when it is "just green" magic is happening in it that our naked eyes can't see.
It is storing up the nutrients and minerals and strength to get it through the Christmas Season.
It smiles, it glows.
It just plugs along, one day at a time.
Then the miracle happens.

How grateful I am for the previous women who cared for this plant.
Words can't express my emotion of gratitude, that I now get to enjoy this beautiful plant.

The heritage I have is priceless.
I am reminded of it in the smallest and most powerful ways.
Even by another Christmas Miracle,
                                    my Christmas Cactus in bloom.

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happy, in love, getting closer to retirement, love my family, love my Savior.