Full disclosure: I do not know much of anything about flowers, plants, trees, and any other members of the plant kingdom. What I do know is that my beautiful friend, Michelle, loved hydrangeas. I never really paid attention to them before, but I certainly do now.

Now, I notice hydrangeas everywhere.  In my neighborhood. In pictures. In cities I visit. I especially have taken notice of them lately, as today approached.

Six years ago, Michelle’s battle with breast cancer ended, and the journey of life without her began. Her physical presence is gone, but she is definitely still here in so many ways.  I see her in the gorgeous hydrangeas, and when I recently researched their symbolic meaning, it made her favorite flowers even more meaningful and fitting.

Hydrangeas symbolize grace, beauty, and gratitude, and their colors are associated with love, harmony, and peace.  While I can hear Michelle laughing in protest at these same descriptors being associated with her, I can assure her, and everyone else, that these words are accurate. She was beautiful inside and out, as she faced challenges with grace, dignity, courage, and humor. Her smile and laugh were contagious, and she had a way of making everyone around her feel at home and loved.  Whenever I see hydrangeas, it feels like a hi from Michelle, which makes me smile.

So, as my heart feels the pangs of grief on today’s anniversary of her death, it also feels great gratitude for the honor and joy of being her friend. I will savor the sight of hydrangeas a little more today, and I will laugh as I remember how we gathered the hydrangeas for the table centerpieces at the lunch following her funeral. That’s a story for another day, though!  I miss you, sweet girl, and love you big time!

That’s another story. . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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