Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mom's Christmas Cactus

Here's a sweet story, and a true one too.

My Mom for many, many years, close to 25-30 years, had a Christmas Cactus that she grew from a cutting from her mother's cactus.  This cactus was pretty old and ugly with long thick leaves, but when it bloomed medium-sized red flowers all the ugliness was forgiven.
Mom and her RED Christmas Cactus

Each year as Summer came to an end, my Mom would store her cactus in the basement of her lake cottage, before she moved to her Winter home in Florida.  Then, upon her return to the lake cottage the following May, she would retrieve the cactus from the basement to the sunlight and start to water it.  Lo and behold, it would perk up and begin to set new buds for upcoming flowers.  This procedure continued year, after year, after year.  There's one important thing you have to remember about my Mom, she hardly ever threw anything away.

another picture of Mom with her RED Christmas Cactus

In February of 2003, my Mom died.

 So a few months later,  Katha, my sister-in-law, went down to my Mom's basement to bring the cactus out of its hibernation. My brother and his wife have a lake home right next door to my Mom's place.  Katha did just as my Mom had always done, she put the cactus back in the sunlight and gave it a drink of water.

As weeks passed by, the plant did its usual thing by growing buds.  Katha checked on it as she was cleaning up the yards and patios of the two homes, giving it a little more water if she thought it was in need. All was going well.

Then, one day as Katha was mowing the lawn, she glanced over at the cactus and couldn't believe her eyes.  The usually red flowering cactus had only one giant white flower!  She quickly ran to get her camera because she wanted to be able to present proof to anyone who might not believe.

See,  just one really big WHITE  flower!         (the date is recent because I took a picture of Katha's picture)

The cactus presented just that one huge white flower, then the whole plant died.

We all are amazed by this true story....and bewildered, and befuddled!

My Mom was known as the "Flower Lady" at her church.  Every Sunday she provided the fresh flowers that decorated the alter.  She didn't go to the florist, no, she gathered them from her own yard, or the neighbors' yards, or from along the sides of the roads.  She had several large vases that she used to make lovely arrangements early Sunday morning just before leaving for the church service.

Our house, during the flowering seasons, always had little containers filled with colorful on the sink in the bathroom, one on the dining table, one on the coffee table in the living room, and one on the windowsill above the kitchen sink.  When not much was blooming in the yards, she would gather the roadside Daylilies and Queen Anne's Lace.  She made every room a little cheerier.

We all have our own ideas and thoughts concerning this happening....

What are you thinking?

Hugs,  and Happy Mother's Day!


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