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When caring for an older adult there are challenges to the mind, body and one's spirit. And the intensity of emotion on these is multiplied exponentially when it is family.
Which brings me to a story about Daisies. More specifically, Montauk Daisies and how they brighten the dark days of fall.
Well, it started long before I was born, my Nan (grandmother) was visiting family in Montauk, New York in the early 1960s. But, before she left to return home to Central Pennsylvania; she was given her first little sprig of a Montauk Daisy by my aunt. My grandmother told me how happy she was that day. As daisies were her most favorite flower. But, that little plant was to go through a number of dreadful experiences over the course of its life. There were several floods it survived, to name a few, there was Hurricane Agnes where is was almost wasted away and then the ice dam breaking on the Susquehanna River, which rose at a foot a minute; and stayed flooded for days; it had also overturned several heating oil tanks spilling their contents everywhere. Oh how the poor daisy looked after that exposure. My Nan had thought it was not going to survive being bathed in heating oil. But, again it survived and surprised her in blooming the following fall. So the years passed and was old enough to start doing yard work (oh, what fun). Though it was then I started to learn how to take care of her daisies. I would have to trim them after they were done blooming and plant all the clippings. Which to this day I am quite surprised how easy they are to grow. All you have to do it pretty much take a clipping and shove it in the ground and poof, you have another bush.
Time Warping to the 2013, she reached the point where she could no longer live on her own (not a pleasant time for a stubborn British grandmother). So she said it time for me to take her Daisies to my home. So the great move of the mother root began. Egads, that root and its main branch was bigger than my forearm and the hole was huge. But, it settled right in and has since birthed many babies. The best part, up an until Nan passed this world, she was able to see them in bloom. But, what provides the most light and an expression of love from these daisies? It is that they had started blooming the week she passed, so now whenever they bloom, I remember most vividly all those wonderful times in the garden and our wonderful lunches, not to mention her stories about her travels. Admittedly, there is still a thread of sadness that wells up in my heart during this time of the year, but that fades when I take a moment to look at her favorite flowers all in bloom.
Thank You Nan for Montauk Daisies, they do brighten a sad heart.
Your Ever Loving Grandson
Originally Published on Junction 116 (Stories from the Heart): Sept 30, 2017