For the last five days, Iâ€™ve been in a freaky funk. I felt like a zombie, and Halloween is still weeks away. I sat in my pajamas and didnâ€™t answer the phone or log onto the computer.
Nothing. Not a batch of chocolate chip cookies consumed in the raw dough stage, or big gridiron wins by my Bulldogs, Rebels or Saints could pull me out of it.
I was thinking of jumping off my back porch, but all I would get is a sprained ankle.
Loss. Thatâ€™s what caused this depression. The world lost a wonderful woman when my friend, Mike Couvillion, died last Wednesday. Iâ€™m wondering why Iâ€™m left here and whoâ€™s going to fill her shoes. Of course, no one can.
As I pondered these questions I walked out back into my secret garden â€“ itâ€™s a secret because itâ€™s so messy and unsightly that I donâ€™t want anyone else see it â€“ all grown up in weeds and uninvited botanical guests.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a single bloom on my ginger lily which was about to be choked out by a bamboo plant that I canâ€™t kill. That wouldnâ€™t be so remarkable except that Mike gave me that ginger lily five years ago. Itâ€™s never bloomed. Five years, not a single bloom.
The foliage is lovely so I didnâ€™t really care so much, but I thought of her every time I watered that plant. What was wrong with me that I couldnâ€™t make it bloom? I complained to her and she said â€śBe patient and treat it nice, it will bloom.â€ť I think that may have been her philosophy of life.
How strange that it bloomed as she was leaving us. I have a slice of her life still thriving in my yard. I will nourish it, divide it, and give it to my friends. I will see her smile as I give it away.
Thatâ€™s what Mike was all about. Giving it away, and not very much concerned with what came back.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville. She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com.View more articles in: