Saturday, March 1, 2008

I've lost someone special

I found out this morning that a very dear neighbor and friend had passed away this week. My heart just hurts thinking that I will never again sit with her in person and share news of the neighborhood and our families. I will never again hear her generous compliments, her wise insights, her unfailingly positive voice. I will, of course, have talks with her and hear her voice - but only in my head - in my memories. She will now be in that part of my life that holds memories of my grandparents - rich, full memories - but not nearly as wonderful as all those in-person chats - not nearly as comforting as warm hugs.
When we moved to this street in 1975, Babe's mother lived at the end of the street. Grace was an old woman at the time - at least to my 25 years. I liked her because you always knew where you stood with her. If she wasn't pleased, she told you - likewise, she never hesitated to pass on a compliment. She had the most incredible gardens. They reminded me of my grandmothers' gardens. In the early 80's - shortly after we moved into this house on the lake, Grace passed on and Babe and her husband, Glenn, moved into her house. Babe immediately became a favorite neighbor. She was an excellent role model for aging gracefully. I don't think I have ever met anyone as genuinely positive and appreciative of those around her.
Babe had back problems and let a lot of the gardens go back to lawn. In the process, she shared countless plants with neighbors and friends. I remember talking to her one year shortly before my birthday. I mentioned that I loved Siberian squill or scilla. On the morning of my birthday, she came down the street with a small bucket full of scilla and other treasures from her garden! She never failed to mention how much she loved my gardens - or to tell me what a wonderful man I'm married to - or what wonderful young men I've raised. I am going to miss her terribly.
This morning our son came out to visit - and do a couple loads of laundry. We were talking and I mentioned that I had seen Babe recently at the nursing home, and that she had said how much she had enjoyed seeing him a couple years ago. Our son said why don't we go down and visit her this morning? We decided to wait an hour so she would be up and ready for the day. A half hour before we were going to head out the door, Babe's son called and gave me the news. I was so glad that we had been thinking of her before John called - it actually helped soften the blow.
Next spring, when the ground has thawed and plants have sprung back to life, I will walk down to her yard and ask her son if I can dig up a few things from her gardens. John will say of course - Mom would want you to have some plants to remember her by. I won't need plants to remember Babe - but I will treasure having a small part of her in my gardens.

20 comments:

The Texas Connection said...

Kris, What a wonderful tribute to your neighbor and FRIEND....... I know you will cherish the flowers.

You know when it comes right down to it-YOUR A PRPETTY NEAT KID YOUR-SELF!!!!!!!!

We love you,
Have a Great Day.

Kitt said...

Aw, how sad. But a sweet remembrance.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm sorry about your neighbor and friend. So many times neighbors don't connect, I guess probably because most people are too busy. It sounds like you were a good neighbor and friend to her too.

Cheryl said...

A beautiful tribute to a dear friend. While you no longer see her physical form, she has left you so much spiritually. A special friendship you will treasure always. The lovely flowers fitted in so well with all you said.

Katie said...

Kris - I'm sorry about the loss of a great neighbor and friend. Like the other commenters here, your tribute was warm and heartfelt, and her love of gardening will live on through the redistribution of her plants, where people like yourself with care for them a remember her.

Giddy said...

It's so sad to lose a good friend, but you will have wonderful memories of her every time you walk through your garden and see her gifts to you.

Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! When we moved up here 5 years ago, I started blogging to keep in touch with my friends and family, and in the process, I have gained a whole world full of gardening friends.

Toni said...

Kris,

I am sorry for your loss...I am glad you have grand memories to keep Babe alive in your heart...

Sincerely, Toni

the second-time-arounders said...

Kris, I've had a special neighbor every place that I have lived - one of life's greatest treasures! It is wonderful that we can remember these special people through their gifts of flowers and I have moved some of these special plants with me from place to place. Love, Marene

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Aw its so sad to lose someone special, this post is a nice tribute.

kate said...

Hi Kris,

Hugs for you - it is hard losing a friend. I'm glad your son was with you when you heard the news. It is good that part of her lives on in your garden... you'll be reminded always of her.

fireflynights said...

It's so sad when I read about someone losing a good friend or a family member and it seems I've been reading about a lot of this lately. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend.

Sally said...

What a wonderful post. Friends are what make life more enjoyable. I'm sorry to hear you have lost such a wonderful friend.

Greenie Gardens said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your good friend. It's amazing how special shared plants are in the garden. In my Calistoga garden I had a lot of shared plants- sadly they wouldn't make it here so it's time to begin again. Spring is coming, hurray!

Trailhead said...

I'm so sorry. This must feel just terrible.

violetlady said...

Please accept my sympathy for the death of your friend. How wonderful that she will live on in the plants that she gave you. They will be a memorial to her life.

Connie said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. She sounds like a wonderful lady, and your post is a lovely tribute to her. It is nice that her memory will live on, not only in your heart....but in your garden as well.

Barbara said...

It is always sad to hear that someone you know and appreciate has gone.I'm so sorry for you! Your neighbour friend will continue to "talk" to you with all the plants you have from her garden.

Nan - said...

A beautifully expressed remembrance, Kris. I'm so sorry.

peter hoh said...

A lovely post. Those pass-along plants take on new meaning.

Becky said...

I know how you are feeling. I have been blessed with wonderful friendships like you mentioned.
You have such rich happy memories now of time spent together.
Thanks for sharing with us. It reminds me to treasure every moment we have with dear people like Babe.