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The Amaryllis Tales
My Daddy and me are the type who will dig up treasures and transplant them from somewhere else to our own yards if we like the look of it or it holds a special memory. Just about every one of our perennials has a story to go along with it and most are family related.
Mr. Thomas was a fellow Redcoat Volunteer at the hospital with Daddy, and gave him a whole bunch of amaryllis bulbs one year that he had dried over the winter. Daddy shared with me and for the first few years they bloomed in my yard, though I carefully lifted them and stored them in the fall.


One particular winter, when I was still madly in love with TL , I gifted him with one of the bulbs to plant that spring in memory of his mother. On a spring visit I noticed the bulb still laying on his kitchen table sprouting beautiful green leaves. The flower garden that he had created in the shared back yard for his Mom's enjoyment had lain dormant and weedy since her death. I can be a pushy old gal when I want to be, so I cajoled him into going outside to bury the bulb. What could've been done in 10 seconds turned into several hours of us scratching in that dirt and cleaning out the overgrowth. He attacked that dirt with a hoe like his life depended on reviving that little plot of ground, and in many ways it did. He had always been a Mama's boy and her death had thrown his usually outgoing personality into a huge big depressive event. There had been one red amaryllis in the bunch, but of course I couldn't tell which one I'd given him just from looking at the bulb.

A few months later we attended his sister's wedding together and I met him at the house. I had forgotten, actually, that we had planted that mystery bulb....yet when I pulled into the tiny carport the beautiful crimson bloom was the first thing that caught my eye. Mattye's red amaryllis...blooming just in time for the wedding she didn't get to attend. She was certainly there in spirit though.


Kay is a tough broad who is my hero in the organizational department. She's a funeral director by trade and one of those who has Thanksgiving dinner in the freezer BY Halloween, or she's behind. When she called me that day I was on the way out of town to visit family. She wanted me to check her white count because she was having abdominal pain and thought she might have appendicitis. I've never much told her no on a request for anything ( nor she with me ) but for some reason I refused her. Urging her to see a surgeon soon, I left town with an uneasy feeling.

When I returned 2 days later she was in surgery after her symptoms had quickly escalated to nausea, vomiting, and excruciating pain. The diagnosis? Colon cancer. A large abcessed tumor in her colon had caused a complete obstruction. A resection was performed, and the surgeon knew just by eyeballing the tumor that it was malignant. A few days after that, I got to witness the sectioning of that tumor by my pathologist friend as he pulled on nodes and we marveled over the size of it. Miraculously it was completely self contained and sealed off AGAINST the omentum. As predicted, the tumor itself was a nasty mess of carcinoma but the lymph nodes were all clear.

During her recovery she was surrounded by a bevy of well meaning friends who cooked enough food for an army and bought her favorite things while she reeled from the shock of having cancer. Me? I brought the amaryllis bulb and planted it right beside her pool where she could see it every time it bloomed outside of the French doors. It still does....and she's still cancer free.

Mysterious ways, that Big Guy. ^j^
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