I’m looking at what I call my “James orchid,” a plant given to us when James passed. I think it is somewhat of an anomaly. After the original blossoms faded, the stems that held them did not die off but remained healthy. A few months later, I noticed a shoot growing off one of the stems. This ended up being another spray of the snowy blooms. I wrote about this surprising new growth in my December 20 blog.
Today, I noticed three new buds beginning to swell, and the seven remaining blooms are glowing in the filtered sunlight. But the most remarkable thing is that the other stem has a shoot that will ultimately be filled with blossoms. I have read that when an orchid sends out a spike from a stem that has already blossomed, it is unusual. Our small plant has done this twice over, and some may call that rare, but I call it a blessing and a sign of new life.
I have read a lot lately about how life’s greatest tragedies can change us—giving us a knowing peace, a depth of understanding, and an internal glow that hints at eternity. The past year has tried many of us in so many ways. And even though some days it is tough to put one foot in front of the other, I believe that together, we walk toward a bright future.
It is James’s birthday in ten days. To celebrate, friends and family will gather at Heavens Beach, his favorite place on our planet. There will be a James-style barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, and storytelling—and there will be a few tears. But most of all, there will be laughter. James loved to tell corny jokes and to laugh.
On this beach called Heavens, we will remember Jay, but we also know as we gather again that we walked through this loss together. Holding each other up through prayer, presence, and gifts like the orchid that took on a spiritual meaning, knowing that someday we will join James in his heaven. Until then, we walk together with deeper understanding, hope, and laughter—always with laughter.
Blessings of Passover, Easter, and Spring.
“When You Walk Through a Storm” By Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rogers When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high And don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of a storm There’s a golden sky And the sweet silver sound of a lark. Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on With hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.