I wrote about the failures with orchids in my blog, and she stepped up with advice. Maybe some of my readers have read her blog, “Let there be garden“. My son echoed her advice, “keep trying”. I did continue trying. The new confidence has produced a little success. Confidence is what she gave me from the start of our friendship. When the work load seemed too much at Vassar, when the essay seemed too complex to finish, when the memorization of too many paintings seemed impossible, she was the one to give me confidence to keep on.
She died as the new year dawned. The orchids begin again. She is in my heart as each blossom opens. When my Father died two years ago, she simply sent a poem, and she stilled my grief. I reread it now, much too soon to be grieving her departure; she was much too young to leave the world.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.