Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"A time to plant..."

I think of an old entry I read many months ago in my friend Heidi's blog, where she mused about a quote from author E.B. White. She said:

Yesterday, as spring was working it's way into warm, I took the daffodil bulbs from Sully's service, an Easter lily given us in his honor by our babysitter, and all of the other plant-able flowers given us by so many and began to "calmly plot the resurrection." That's what I kept repeating over and over in my head as I dug up the earth and tucked each bulb and plant away in hopes that they would return next year. I can hear my friend's voice reading to me E.B. White's words about his dying wife: "There was something comical yet touching in her bedraggled appearance…the small hunched-over figure, her studied absorption in the implausible notion that there would be another spring, oblivious to the ending of her own days, which she knew perfectly well was at hand, sitting there with her detailed chart under those dark skies in dying October, calmly plotting the resurrection." I wonder what that next Spring was like for White without his wife. I wonder how he felt as he watched her garden resurrection.

My mind goes back to the Andrew poems, to another mother who, like me, planted her Easter lilies and tulips with a certain madness in her method. There is comfort in thinking that there will be life again, to think that these bulbs and plants that bloomed while my Sully lived and breathed here on this earth will bloom again. Somehow that makes me feel like I will have a part of Sully again on this earth. Just a bloom, is that really all I'm hoping for? No, it surely is more. I am hoping for my very own garden resurrection and the reminder of what will one day be.

And so - after reading that - last May I ordered a bunch of bulbs using a "free coupon" from Breck's . They send them to you when it is time to plant them, and they were delivered to us by UPS today. In our region, apparently, it is time to plant tulip bulbs.

We chose an assortment of tulips, which we will plant in honor and memory of the sweet babies we've miscarried over the past two years. When we lost baby Jordan, a dear friend who has had several miscarriages of her own brought us a lovely pot of tulips and a card expressing her sympathy with our loss. It was so special and thoughtful.

Only those who have prepared for receiving - and then lost the opportunity to receive - a new little one into their lives can understand exactly what's going on in the heart and mind as a result of the loss. Many people assume the grief isn't there since the baby didn't develop fully, or move around inside you, or be born. And I'm sure they're right that the grief is not as acute. But it is nevertheless real, and tulips will forever remind me of the bittersweetness we felt upon losing little Jordan, and then later babies Eden, Carlan, and Quinn.

We will remember you as we plant these bulbs, little ones, and we will remember you each spring during the "garden resurrection."

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