“My Spirit is Pink”

When I was little my Grandmother, Blanche, was an Avon lady. She had a tiny room in their house that was very pink, and filled top-to-bottom with makeup. I loved that room so much! I can still remember the smell of lipstick, powder, and perfume as though it were yesterday.

When she was diagnosed with stage four cancer, she decided that she wanted to die at home, not in a hospital bed. My mom flew out, and took care of her until the end. Not long before she passed, constantly in and out of consciousness, she suddenly became very clear and stated, “My spirit is pink.” I think my mom was just a bit quiet, and so Grammy said it again. “My spirit is pink.” “Okay, Mom. Okay.” A few days later she died. At home. The way she wanted. It was Thanksgiving.

My mom stayed for a few weeks to help my Grandpa. By the time she got home to Vancouver it was early November. The garden had finished for the season, so my mom started getting the yard ready for winter… when she saw something very strange. One pink rhododendron blossom – not the whole bush, just one blossom. A perfect pink flower that normally blooms in early May. And it stayed there for exactly one month, perfect and pink, before it dropped.

I was living in Toronto at the time, and had no idea about the strange pink bloom in my parents’ garden. I was very close to my grandmother and missed her so much. I talked to her every night, desperately trying to feel like I hadn’t lost her. Around the same time that my mom saw the flower in her garden, I noticed that the tiny rose bush I had on my bedside table had a bloom on it – not the whole bush, just one bloom. That thing hadn’t thrown a flower in at least two years. It was a red rose bush, but it bloomed one little pink rose… and it stayed there for exactly one month, perfect and pink, before it dropped.

You can find more of Danielle on her blog The Jealous Curator.
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