Saturday, July 16, 2016

My Dad Plant

When I was moving out on my own a few years ago and negotiating plates, wall art and furniture, my ex asked me if I wanted a few of the plants. I said sure, I'll take two. The two she suggested looked good to me and appeared to be easy to care for; a definite plus because I'm not good at caring for plants.

As I put the plants into my car she asked if I remembered where the larger one (pictured here) came from.   I did not. She told me it was the plant my office sent me after my dad died fifteen years ago. Wow, I had no idea that plant was still alive. I remember getting it but lost track of it years ago in the jungle of our house.

As I sat next to it on my patio sipping my coffee this morning I decided to learn more about this plant.

My GF said she thought it was some kind of lily. I would never have guessed that. Armed with that speculation, however, I found it on google in about ten seconds.

Spathiphyllium is also known as the Peace Lily.  It has Asian origins and thrives in wet tropical environments. That explains why mine survived for years in a dark hallway, within earshot of many less-than-peaceful arguments.

My dad was a peaceful, stubborn man and maybe that is the reason for the plant's survival. Maybe he visits me through what I now call my 'dad plant'.

Some people say deceased loved ones visit us through various objects.  I don't usually believe things like that but I do find comfort in having this plant in my apartment. I draw some inspiration from the plant's tenacity and stubbornness in staying alive through adverse conditions. My dad did a reasonably good job of surviving more than fifteen years of Parkinson's disease. That horrible disease robbed him of the retirement he dreamed of but he fought it well, at least initially.

Maybe there is a learning opportunity with this plant; something along the lines of 'you can survive almost anything if you try'.

Or maybe this is just a nice plant and it inspires me to tell yet another story, something I enjoy doing.

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