Today I went over to mom and dad’s house to pump out the basement. It floods, sometimes, and one never can tell what sort of weather will cause it to happen. Anyway, while I was over there, I discovered that the hellebores were in bloom in the back of the garden.
Mom and I had bought those hellebores one year at the Philadelphia Flower Show. It doesn’t seem all that long ago, but at the same time it seems like a lifetime ago. She couldn’t really pronounce “hellebore” very well, so called them “hora-boras,” like they were some kind of delicious tropical drink. Anyway. I have a soft spot in my heart for hellebores.It doesn’t hurt that they are lovely.
I thought I’d bring some back and put them in her butsudan. It occurred to me that even though the butsudan is technically for mom, she probably wouldn’t mind sharing it with Lily, seeing as how they were kindred spunky spirits. I started digging through the old iphoto library for pictures of Lily.
It turns out that although Lily was a gorgeous creature (she had the most beautiful green eyes) she did not photograph well.
And pretty much always looked crabby.
And was always very, very black. The photo above was only legible after running it through the paces in photoshop trying to bring out any of the detail in her fur. Most photos of her are just big black blobs with two bright eyes shining out of them. After about an hour of searching (we have a HUGE iphoto library) I finally found one that captured her spirit.
Domineering but curious, attentive but aloof, warm and fuzzy but only if she felt like it. I especially love that in this photo you can see Matthew’s portrait of her and Oscar in the background, one of my favorite paintings of all time because it captures the two of them so perfectly.
So I added Lily to the butsudan and put the hellebores in there for her and mom to enjoy (not that Lily had ever seen a hellebore in her life).
I sure do miss my feisty ladies. I hope they’re keeping each other company, somewhere. At the very least they’re in the butsudan watching over our daily shenanigans together.
And, as Alden says, they are always in our hearts.