Friday, July 5, 2013

A Redbud for Remembrance

This past Sunday my grandmother died. She was 97 and had lived a long, full life. She was my little fiesty Irish granny with a grand sense of humor. She loved a good joke, would hug the breath out of you and made a mean Irish soda bread. She also loved plants. See? I get this obsession honestly. When she moved back up to the Chicago area into a patio home, I think the first thing she planted was a tomato. Then my father relocated an oak sapling he had started from an acorn. Grandma loved her garden, always planting some annual flowers for color and feeding the birds. She and I could talk plants for hours and she adored the pink peony I transplanted from my house.

One tree was special, though, the redbud. Her mother had always loved redbud and Grandma had always wanted one. So, for Mother's Day one year me and Mom planted a sapling from The Morton Arboretum's Plant Sale. I sited it so Grandma could see it from the kitchen window. I planted one at my house too, right outside the kitchen window. There's just something about a blooming redbud first thing in the morning and I knew we'd look at it everyday.

Here's mine a couple of years after planting:

So cute and innocent!

And today:

My husband calls it Snuffaluffagus. Probably time to prune.

Soon we will celebrate the long life of Granny Gorman. For me, she leaves a legacy of tenacity, love, laughter and a beautiful redbud tree.