|There goes another rubber tree plant|
This past April 1, for the first time ever, I had a personal connection to that simple song. The ficus "rubber tree" plant in the photo above was gifted to my very best friend when her beloved mom passed away suddenly. After the memorial, as we were clearing the funeral home of all their belongings and all the wonderful floral tributes to her, I was stopped in my tracks seeing this plant.
It was my circle of life.
You see, when my mom passed away in 1976, someone gave us a similar plant. I grew up with that plant and it was taller than me when I left for college in the fall of 1989. I loved that plant, for it represented so much. It was the vitality and living breathing proof of my mom's existence for a very long time. I am not a green thumb at all but I did care for that particular plant. (I hear they are pretty hard to kill). When I left for college, I took for granted that that plant would be there or would one day be mine. I did not think to verbalize my love for that plant at that time. A series of unfortunate events happened over the years and along with all my baby photos with my mom, that plant disappeared from my life. I cannot tell you I ever even felt the loss of the plant.
I've mourned the loss of my pictures many times but the plant was an obscure hurt that I did not feel again until that day in April standing in a central Illinois funeral home. I immediately felt drawn to the plant. I mentioned to my BFF my story, briefly and succinctly. We were very absorbed in her grief and it felt selfish to even say it but I am glad I did.
Later that afternoon as we were leaving, she called me into the living room with her brother and her father and asked me to take and care for the plant in honor of her mom and my mom. I could not keep my composure. It's even taken me months to write this because the overwhelming emotion of thinking how amazing it is - this thing we call life.
This friend who was pushed off my lap in 1990 and almost wasn't my friend.
24 years of friendship.
A clear schedule on my calendar for the precise days she needed me.
A ficus plant someone thought to send.
If that is not the "circle of life", then I don't know what is.