I first found out about these flowers when the best friend of my grandmother brought them into my life – she used to grow big beautiful yellow chrysanthemums in her garden and it always fascinated me how this plant defied bad weather, first blows of frost and first flakes of snow. Flowers are associated with spring, with the first rays of early March sun, while in autumn everything shuts down and prepares itself for yet another long sleep. Almost everything, apart from chrysanthemums whose splendid colors explode to brighten up first gloomy days of October. They are such a pretty site, but you have to wait all year long to see them bloom for this short, late time. You have to be patient, the best and most beautiful things in life require perseverance and patience. Also, you have to be punctual, because if you miss them you’ll have to wait for another year to see them bloom again. And a year can be a very long time, once I used to say very casually and confidently that I would do something or go somewhere next year, it went without saying that the next year would come, then another next and all the other nexts after it. Today I’m much more cautious when I want to say a thing like that, now that I felt all the fragility and uncertainty of life in the closest possible proximity. Chrysanthemums will always remind me of it.
Today was one of four yearly memorial days for the dead in my culture, another occasion to visit and take care of my dad’s grave, bring flowers and relive the memories of one life that reached its end last year. Another reminder that the pain never goes away, you just learn to live with it. You simply survive because it’s the law of life, it’s still not your time. Rest in peace dear dad, as long as I live the memory of your life will live too.
Last year when I posted my flower photos, I could never imagine even in my worst dreams that this time this year I would be visiting a cemetery quite often and carrying flowers out there in that vast, open space. It was next to impossible to work with camera again, and I never planned to take any photos myself at the grave of my grandmother and my dad.
Modern technology interfered, I always had my cell phone with me, so my mom would always ask – why don’t you try to make some photo, so that we have memories of different days we went to visit them? I couldn’t refuse, being convinced that nothing special would come out of such trials. I finally transferred those photos to the computer and it was such a strange surprise. The place where the photos were taken is sad, the occasions were very sad, yet flowers make quite a difference. It doesn’t matter where flowers are, they’re always a pretty sight, they embellish even the saddest spot. They made me realize that there can be some beauty in grief as well.
Rest in peace, dear dad.