Sunday, May 3, 2009


Weigela is - according to Wikipedia - a small genus of about 12 species of deciduous shrubs in the family Caprifoliaceae, growing to 1-5 m tall and named after a German scientist Christian Ehrenfried Weigel.

The reason I know this is (apart from looking up the specifics on Wikipedia) that I have a Weigela bush (also spelled Weiglia) in my backyard. I suppose I should say that my mother had it and I took it on when I bought the house. For years I would say to her, 'what's the name of that beautiful flowering shrub in the backyard' and year after year she would say 'Weigelia'. I would reply 'oh right, I can NEVER remember that'.

But I knew that I really didn't have to remember it because I could always ask her - and she would always tell me. And then she got sick. Welll, she got Parkinsons and as the disease began to ravage her already tiny frame I realized that I couldn't always ask her because she wouldn't always be around.

And so one final time I asked her what it was and I wrote it down and I stuck it on a bulletin board that I look at each and every day. Weigela. Just that one word written on a scrap of paper. Weigela.

The summer after she died my son was getting married and having the photo's taken in the back yard. We were all sad that Mom hadn't lived to see him get married - she loved him so. But standing in front of the shrub I realized that it had flowered more than it had done in many years and I knew that Mom was with us anyway ... maybe not in body but certainly in spirit.

Today I trimmed the Weigela. Cut away all the dead branches so that the new ones can grow and the flowers will bloom beautifully this summer as well and I thought of Mom. With me in spirit - now and always

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