This year will mark six years since my sister passed away from kidney cancer. Her doctor called my sister her miracle patient. The normal prognosis was maybe two years, but she fought the odds for eight years before she lost her battle.
I am not sure I will ever get used to the truth that she is no longer here and I try to be thankful for all the extra years. The odds of her surviving all the surgeries and complications – there were many – were always against her. But my sister never let that overcome her will to live.
On her last birthday, she gave me a present – that was just like her. Unfortunately she gave me a plant and I am not good with plants – especially indoor plants. Since her passing, that plant has become symbolic to me of her survival. I have fought hard to keep it alive. Not an easy task for me.
We had a history with this plant – a purple passion (or velvet) plant – a Gynura aurantiaca. There was a time we both lived in Alaska. We each kept these plants in hanging pots supported by macrame hangers (yes, macrame which we both made). They were beautiful with their purple fuzzy leaves cascading in the sunlight. This was the plant she gifted to me. It was a tie to a different place and time when we relied on each other and transformed from sisters to best friends.
To say I have struggled to keep this plant alive is an understatement. It has come close to death on a few of those cold 19 degree nights. But now, that one single plant is in three small pots. That means they have a three times greater chance of survival. And survive they must. Anything else would feel like losing my sister all over again.
I know this feels sad, but if you knew my sister you would know she is somewhere laughing at me – the sister with the brown thumb – trying hard to keep one little purple plant alive. Laugh away, sis. I’ve almost made it six years! Me and my little miracle patient.
Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.
Prompt word today (surviving) submitted by Wendy from Wendy’s Waffle.