Tag Archives: gardening

A Tribute to Lucy, My Friend

Day lilies were Lucy's signature plant  ~ this yellow color is one of the first she shared with me

Day lilies were Lucy’s signature plant ~ this yellow color is one of the first she shared with me

*I lost a treasure this week.  My ninety-six year old best friend went to heaven last Saturday.

When I met Lucy several years ago, it started as me thinking that I would spend time with an elderly widowed neighbor; instead, she instantly became one of the dearest friends I have ever had.  She was confidant, mentor, gardening instructor and friend.

Lucy taught me that a person is not determined by age; the real person is on the inside and that doesn’t change by growing old.

I already miss her, but am very happy for her.  She is finally home with her loving husband of over fifty years, her only child and beloved daughter, and all her other family and friends.  Most importantly, she is in the arms of her Savior, whom she both loved and served faithfully. 

This poem is written as a tribute to her. 

Lucy, My Friend

Why did you have to be
So perfect and so sweet,
Those many years ago
When at first, our hearts did meet?

 I knew that at your age
Your years left could be few.
That losing you would hurt;
Was risky, befriending you.

 But I could not resist
Your love, it drew me in;
Your gentle ways, they beckoned,
And calmed my fears within.

 We shared countless visits,
Sipping cups of brewed tea;
Swapping many a tale,
Quietly, reminiscing.

 More often times than not,
Our stories made us cry,
But we’d end up with a laugh
Before we bid goodbye.

 And no matter the day,
No matter what the storm,
Your door, it stayed open;
Your friendship, always warm.

 Yet, not only was your home
A welcome mat for friends;
The flowers in your yard,
Caused your blessings to extend.

 Your gift of gardening,
Of sharing what you grew,
Has left a part of you
With everyone you knew.

 With every passing spring
Or summer’s warmth anew
Each day lily that blooms
Reminds us all of you.

 Though we will miss you so,
Hope springs like violets blue.
For in heaven things won’t fade,
But will be forever new.

 One day we will join you,
Up there on streets of gold,
And Him whose face you’ve seen,
Our eyes will too behold.

 Together, we’ll rejoice,
Of pain and sorrows free,
We’ll dance ‘mid rows of roses
You’ve grown for us to see.

 How you lived while on earth
Only God did measure,
But what you left in our hearts
Is a priceless treasure.

 Tho’ losing you brought tears,
I have a joy un-end;
Knowing while down here below,
You chose to call me friend.

Sue Nash/2014

This English dogwood plant will always be special, because I tried transplanting one from Lucy several times before one finally made it

This English dogwood plant will always be special, because I tried transplanting one from Lucy several times before this one finally made it

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner




Brenda’s Irises

Always a special color since my son picked these out when young.

Always a special color since my son picked these out when young.

My name, Sue, has several meanings, one being flowered one.  That meaning describes me best.  Some people like flowers; I need them.  Some can visit gardening stores and walk away with a plant or two; I leave with a trunk exploding with blossoming color.  My name precisely matches my fondness of flowers.

Last fall, I dug up my iris bed to divide them.  Since they had performed poorly the previous spring, and were thickly overcrowded, I figured thinning them might jump-start more blooms next time around.  After separating the tubers, I had plenty left to share with a few of my neighbors.  That way we could all enjoy their floral beauty.

As spring began warming their roots, my anticipation of an elaborate display gained momentum, as daily the iris leaves broadened and their grassy green shoots rose.  With certain expectation, I anxiously awaited the thickening bulges at the base of each leafy cluster, telltale signs of pending blooms.  I waited, yet nothing happened.  At least not in my iris bed. 

Although I had thinned them, fertilized them and shared them, my anticipated showcase of irises never arrived.  My iris bed was instead only clumps of greenery.  For one particular neighbor, Brenda, one of those with whom I had shared, her iris bed was lovelier than I had ever seen in my own.  It was if my flowering showcase had packed up and moved next door.

Brenda's Iris 2

At first, I was a little miffed.  Jealous and pouting, I wondered why hers had bloomed so prolifically their first time out.  I reasoned that I deserved beautiful blossoms this year, too, especially since I had shared.  Sadly, my pity party revealed a heart as lacking in genuine concern for others as my flowers were in blooms.

With a gentle prick at my heart, the kind every rose gardener recognizes as a prompt for caution around thorns, God reminded me of the hardships this neighbor was enduring. Suffering from a variety of physical ailments, some which have lasted years and for which there is no cure, this sister in Christ has few times in life when she is not sick.  Currently, she is not able to drive and rarely ventures out.  With much deserved reprimand, God gently scolded me for my selfishness and revealed to me the reason her irises were so magnificent.  I may have needed them, but she needed them more.

Not long after my scolding, I saw my neighbor out front with her husband.  By then, I had repented of my wrong attitude, and had instead been enjoying the beauty of her flowers as I drove by them each day.  I had also begun praying for her more earnestly.  Thus, by the time I met with her, God had straightened out my priorities and I was genuinely able to applaud her splendid spring flowers.  As I saw the gleam in her expressions, and her delight when discussing her enjoyment of the irises, I was so thankful that God had changed my heart.  My little trip to the woodshed with God had replaced pathetic selfishness with abundant joy in giving.

Perhaps the greater lesson I learned is that those flowers I keep referring to as my own, even by one named flowered one, are not really mine at all.  They all belong to God.  One day, I will have all the flowers I could ever need and more.  Until then, and to help me remember my lesson, I have decided to name my irises after my neighbor.  Now, instead of mine, they are all Brenda’s Irises.  

From His Heart for blog