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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Rebecca's Hydrangea Bushes

When Rebecca died I had the horrible task of going to the florist to pick out flowers for the funeral. The sweet lady at Reggie's Flower Shop suggested two little dark pink hydrangeas to put on either side of Rebecca's tiny casket.  She said after the funeral we could plant them in her memory. That sounded like a wonderful idea.  I was happy to have the decision made and I loved that they were  pink and not the blue color that most hydrangeas are around here.  (I love the blue ones but this was my baby girl and she needed something pink.)

We later planted the two tiny hydrangea bushes on  the east side of the house hoping they would get the perfect amount of morning sun and afternoon shade to grow and thrive. At this same time, we planted other plants we were given in Rebecca's memory around the outside of the house.

My best friend Jennifer gave us a gift card to Lowe's to pick out something special and I chose Dahlia's that were called Rebecca's World.  I chose them because of the name and their flower was a beautiful deep dark pinky purple and white.  They were beautiful.

My friend Christy gave us a beautiful butterfly bush to plant and I loved watching the butterflies hover around the blooms.  Each butterfly that landed on it made me think of Rebecca.

Dan's brother and sister sent us two perfect azalea bushes which we planted under a tree at the front corner of our house. Dan's sister also sent a Camellia which had gorgeous blooms on it.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School gifted us with a lovely dogwood tree which we planted at the edge of the yard and I was looking forward to enjoying it's blossoms for years to come.

We also planted many of the plants that were included in beautiful arrangements we received. 

Sadly, every single thing that we planted after Rebecca's funeral ultimately ended up dying. Some didn't make it past the heat of the first summer while others made it two years before they were gone. The dahlia's made it four years before they were done. Not sure if it was the location we planted everything or the fact that we over watered or under watered. Most likely a combination of all of these factors.

While I sadly pulled everything up as it died, I continued to keep an eye on our two little hydrangea bushes.  They did not die but they also were not really growing and they certainly weren't thriving.

We researched and googled and I determined that it was because they were from a florist. They weren't meant to be planted and grow like a hydrangea bush you would buy at Lowe's.  They were meant to stay smaller and bloom once and look lovely in an arrangement.

We got a couple of blooms in year two and they were looking blue so we added some lime to soil to change the pH so that they would turn more pink/purple. We would usually get one or two flowers and there were a couple of years where there were no blooms at all. The hydrangeas down south are normally out of control.  The bushes seem to take over the space they are planted and they are always heavy with blossoms. However, ours remained small and essentially flowerless.

After year three, I wanted to rip them out but Dan is a little more patient than I am. He continued to water and research and hope for the best.  Last year, the bush closest to the garage had a three or four blossoms around the back of the bush and the other bush had one blossom and I was thrilled!  We watched those blossoms and I delighted in them.  I just knew that 2021 would be the year our hydrangea bushes were actually going to look like hydrangea bushes.

In the early spring, I would check on them each morning and look for blossoms. I chatted with them and told them that this was their year.  I continued to cheer them on when I noticed blossoms forming on them and was especially excited when we finally spotted blossoms on the smaller bush as well.

I carefully cut two blooms to bring inside to enjoy:

Even though they are seven years old now and still very small, they have lots of blossoms!  And they are beautiful!

I am so thankful that Dan did not give up on our little hydrangea bushes. For me, they are a visible reminder of my sweet  Rebecca. But even more than that, the bushes are a reminder of God's love for me. 

God loves us deeply and intimately and even if we know that with our minds sometimes our hearts  need reassurance.  God loves us and sees us.  God knows what we need. God gives us what we need.

And sometimes God sends hydrangea blossoms to remind us that we are loved.

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” - Luke 12:27-28

"Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?"  -Matthew 6:27-30



Madeline said...

How wonderful that Dan's patience paid off and you can get these reminders. Oh sweet Rebecca Irene, pray for us all!

Gigi said...

They are beautiful. I never knew that about florist flowers...but it just goes to show that giving something enough love and patience and it will flourish.

Ernie said...

Heart breaking that so many of the plants/flowers didn't thrive. Those hydrangeas are just beautiful though. I love their deep color. So great that Dan encouraged you to keep them. The bible verses offer a great perspective/reminder. So true.

Mari said...

Wow! They are just gorgeous and such a beautiful color! I'm glad you were patient.

Pat Birnie said...

What a lovely and touching post. I am so glad Dan had the patience and encouraged you to hang in there. There is a wonderful analogy there about everything (everyone) blooming when the time is right.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Those are beautiful!