The Lady’s Slipper orchids bloomed in my garden 2 weeks ago.  And now they are gone.  This is the second time that they have bloomed since they were planted and each time I see them it is a melancholy experience.

You see, the Lady’s Slipper orchid (genus cypripedium -I don’t know the species of mine) is my absolute favorite flower in the whole world (the pink ones in particular, but they are almost impossible to obtain as they are considered endangered).  I have the yellow ones…and these yellow ones were taken from my father’s garden at the lake cabin he loved and where he spent 5 months out of every year until he became too ill to travel. The cabin was built on land that my grandparents once owned.  Two of my other uncles had cabins on the same beachfront property.  My parents received these orchids from my Uncle and Aunt who brought them from their home.  So whenever these orchids bloom, I cherish every moment I see them.

Additionally, my mother secretly placed one in my wedding bouquet (she was a floral designer and so, of course, she provided my gorgeous flowers. “NO carnations”, she said.)  I pulled out that Lady Slipper before I tossed my bouquet and took it with me on my honeymoon.  Poor Mom…now that I think of it, I should have hired someone else so she could have relaxed (but she probably wouldn’t have gone for that idea anyway).

The Lady’s Slippers didn’t bloom last year while my father was living the last few weeks of his life.  The greenery came up….but no blooms.  Perhaps they knew something was wrong.  My father pondered several times why they weren’t blooming and I had no answer.  “I’m sure they’ll be here next year” I’d say.  In my mind I was thinking…but sadly, you won’t be here to see them.

There will always be things that happily remind you of your parent, spouse or loved-one.  Be sure to take time now to determine what those treasures are and how you can keep them in your life after your loved one is no longer there.  You can believe that if I ever move from this house that those Lady’s Slippers are going with me!

And someday I’m going to find some pink ones!


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