April 10th is the day we are able to celebrate the birth and nearly 34 vibrant and beautiful years we had with Amy. This is the second year we have celebrated without her and this number will continue to grow.
Shortly after Amy passed, our Aunt Lyn (Fischer) graciously sent me a check with a suggestion to purchase a plant, specifically a rose bush that can be moved, to grow and nurture in honor of Amy. The same gift had been given to Lyn in honor of her late brother and she was correct in how therapeutic this relationship can be when mourning the death of a loved one. It took me several months to be able to emerge from the shock and simply purchase a rose bush from our friend, Joe. In honor of Amy, I picked the most funky and delicate variety he had, a Fourth of July Rose. Each blossom has a different color pattern of her favorites, reds and whites, and bees are attracted to it. I think Amy would adore this plant.
Amy's Rose bush reminds me of one of my most favorite novels, The Little Prince. Our hero Prince is obsessed with a beautiful single Rose on an isolated planet and the task of keeping her alive and thriving. When visiting other planets, he tells others that "the stars are beautiful because of a flower that you don't see." This Rose is lovely, obnoxious, vulnerable, and mesmerizing and her existence consumes the Prince's life. To justly personify her even more, she boasts her 4 thorns with an insecure effort to protect herself. The Prince's difficulty with being consumed by the Rose is something that I think many of us can empathize with, especially with loved ones who are delicate.
Grief is forever evolving and a new reality that one must learn to live with and allow yourself to experience. So every day, Amy and I sit with each other. Helping each other blossom and heal. This past week, I'd like to think that in honor of her birthday, Amy's rose bush bloomed in a glorious display. This weekend has brought much needed rains that have already washed away some of the delicate roses; but just as Amy's brief life, the joy and beauty these blooms created were celebrated while they existed.
After losing Amy, it was a long time before I was able to see the stars or life for that matter as beautiful again, but it slowly allowed me to be more in love with this life than ever. I like to think that Amy's energy and soul are somewhere in a space where we cannot comprehend. She is finally at peace and is healed and many of her loved ones are gifted with sensing her presence during brief moments. The Little Prince's loyalty to his Rose is so deep that her image is described as "shining within him like the flame within a lamp." The flame and memory of Amy and her life is something we can all strive to maintain in our thoughts, relationships, and actions. Today, In honor of Amy, I am going to work in outreach with some people in need of some love and help, celebrate and nurture the relationships in my life, and work on Elly's birthday present while listening to Amy's favorite music. I will caress her fingerprint, fondly celebrating the 29 years of memories that we shared and the nearly 34 beautiful years that she lived. This isn't the celebration any of us desire, but it is our reality and will be enough for now.
"If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among millions of millions of stars, that's enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars.
He tells himself "My flower is up there somewhere... But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it's as if suddenly, all the stars went out. And isn't that important?""
Our lives and this world are better because of Amy and her nearly 34 years on this rock. And that is important. Happy birthday, Nixon.